PROVIDENCE HIGH — The Providence High girls' basketball team wanted to come out and put pressure on Rock Academy in the first round of the Division V CIF State Basketball Championships.
The Pioneers accomplished that goal — and more — helping force 31 turnovers Wednesday in rolling to a 68-35 win in the Southern California Regional at Providence.
With the win, the fifth-seeded Pioneers (26-5) will play on the road in a regional quarterfinal game at 7 p.m. Saturday against No. 4 Orangewood Academy. The Spartans (27-4) defeated No. 13 Vincent Memorial, 59-41.
The win was historic for the Pioneers, as it was their first victory in their first appearance in the state tournament. Providence also made program history by earning a spot in the program's first CIF Southern Section semifinal to earn the state berth.
"Defensively, we always talk about the fact that opponents are going to have to play against us," said Providence High Coach Andrew Bencze, whose squad won its second straight Liberty League championship this season. "We can scout the other team and find out about them, but we just want to make sure that we're ready to play. Defensively, they just found it hard to score on us."