PROVIDENCE HIGH — For the second consecutive year, the Providence High girls' basketball team earned a spot in the championship game of its Providence Pioneer Shootout.
Having not won the tournament in 12 years, the Pioneers were hoping to break that streak against a tough Los Angeles Baptist squad in the 15th annual tournament.
Although the teams played evenly through the first quarter, the Knights' hounding defense began to pay dividends in the second quarter. Add to that the solid play of L.A. Baptist senior Monet McNally, and the Pioneers just couldn't keep pace, falling Thursday evening, 66-40.
Since winning their tournament in 1999, this was only the second time in a dozen years that the Pioneers (8-2) were able to advance to the championship contest.
"We haven't won since '99 and by design, the tournament is to get us better, rather than for us to win," said Providence Coach Andrew Bencze, whose team fell to Pasadena Poly in the 2010 tourney final. "Obviously, we would like to win the tournament, but it's more important for us to be challenged. We want to be playing at the end of the year."