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Pioneers push to put game away

Basketball: Providence High girls come from behind in fourth quarter for playoff win.

February 18, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

BURBANK — The fourth quarter couldn't have started any better for the Providence High girls' basketball team.

The Pioneers had been struggling offensively all game and were down by two heading into the final quarter. That quickly changed as two straight Brethren Christian turnovers gave Providence a two-point edge 30 seconds into the quarter.

The final eight minutes were back and forth, featuring three ties, but the Pioneers didn't trail the rest of the way, as they outlasted 14th-seeded Brethren Christian for a 42-40 home win in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division VAA playoffs.

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It was a wild game that was fun to watch, but may have not been so good for the health of Pioneers Coach Andrew Bencze, who jokingly said after the game that he nearly had a heart attack.

"It wasn't fun to coach until the final buzzer," Bencze said with a sigh of relief.

The victory puts the No. 3 seed Pioneers (24-4) in the quarterfinals for the second time in school history and first time since 2007. They will face either Desert or Mesa Grande.

Estelle Glorioso was responsible for giving the Pioneers the quick fourth-quarter lead, 33-31, 30 seconds into the fourth by cashing in two Brethren Christian (20-10) turnovers for layups.

Her first score was sparked by a steal from teammate Katia Dabbaghian, who threw an outlet pass to Glorioso, on the Warriors' first possession of the quarter. Glorioso grabbed a steal on the ensuing possession and ran halfway down the court for another layup.

"Estelle is so athletic and so good on defense, I know she's a 4- or 6-0 run waiting to happen and we got it at the right time," Bencze said.

It gave Providence its first lead since a 6-4 advantage five minutes into the contest.

"It felt good [taking the lead again]," said Glorioso, who finished with eight points and four steals. "I didn't think I could do it, but work hard and you never know what can happen."

The Warriors tied the game back up at 33, but Providence's Janel Adraneda (11 points) ensured a victory, as she nailed consecutive layups to give her team a 40-34 edge with 3:48 to go.

A 6-0 run from Brethren Christian knotted the game back at 40 with 2:05 to go. Both offenses went cold for the next two minutes, but Adraneda ended the scoring drought with a clutch layup to give her team a 42-40 lead with 10 seconds remaining.

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