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LoVett earns top CIF division accolade

Boys' basketball: Providence also has a CIF first-teamer in Gonzalez and a co-coach of the year in Baskerville.

March 19, 2012|BY JEFF TULLY
(File Photo )

First-year Providence High boys' Coach Ernest Baskerville had two main goals for this team this season: Finishing among the top three in the Liberty League and cutting down on the 86 points per game the Pioneers gave up the previous year.

Providence wildly exceeded those expectations, as the squad won its first league championship in 13 years and surrendered 57 points a game.

But the Pioneers did so much more, putting together a historic season that included a first-ever CIF Southern Section championship appearance and an inaugural invitation to the state playoffs.

Providence was justly rewarded for its exploits. Freshman Marcus LoVett Jr. was voted the Division IV-A Player of the Year and senior teammate Patrick Gonzalez garnered a first-team honor. In addition, Baskerville earned co-coach of the year honors with Koko Kaprielian of Holy Martyrs.

"I think us getting awards is great recognition for the school," Baskerville said. "It also shows how much hard work the guys put in all season. Rewards come with hard work, and this team worked very hard to accomplish what they were able to do this year.

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"But I'm really happy that the two guys were recognized for what they put in this season,"

Baskerville was modest about sharing the division's coach-of-the-year award.

"Me getting the award, that's just the team," he said. "When you win it's because of the players and not always because of the coach. The coaching award is being awarded for the whole body of work, and that's what the team was able to accomplish. …We had a great season."

LoVett definitely provided an offensive spark for the Pioneers (26-6). The freshman averaged a team-high 32.4 points a game and ended the season with 1,036 points, breaking a school record. LoVett tallied 20 or more points in all 32 of the Pioneers' games, had 30 or more in 17 games and 40 or more in six. His high game came with a 52-point effort in a tournament contest Dec. 17 against Santa Maria St. Joseph.

LoVett also averaged nearly five rebounds and more than three assists and three steals a contest.

"Marcus is just a blue-collar worker who goes out there and works every game," Baskerville said. "Aside from his stats, he has just done an amazing job this season being humble and level-headed about all the attention he's gotten. He did everything within our offense. I think getting player of the year caps off a great season for him."

LoVett was also named the Liberty League Player of the Year.

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