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Boys' basketball: Despite 30 points from LoVett, Providence falls to La Salle, 83-61, in MLK showcase.

January 22, 2013|BY ANDREW SHORTALL

BURBANK — Both the La Salle and Providence high boys' basketball have young guards that can fill up a box score in a hurry, but those who came out to the finale of the Martin Luther King Showdown looking for a shootout were disappointed.

Coaches on both sides of the court were in agreement that defense was the key to the Lancers' lopsided 83-61 victory at Providence High Monday night.

Offensively, La Salle (11-7) got a big boost from freshman guard Vance Jackson, who earned player of the game honors after he tied for the game-high mark in points with 30 and nine rebounds.

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Providence sophomore point guard Marcus LoVett Jr. also put up 30 points, along with six boards, but it wasn't enough to keep up with La Salle.

"We just didn't want to let him beat us," La Salle Coach Jelani Gardner said. "You don't want to lose to a team that had one man score 50 points. If we were going to lose today, we wanted to make somebody else beat us."

While Gardner was pleased with his defense Monday, Providence Coach Ernest Baskerville was far from it.

"I thought our energy level was horrible tonight," Baskerville said. "To me, defense is built up off energy and effort and heart, and we had none of those three."

LoVett had trouble getting going against the Lancers' half-court press defense, as he got off to a slow start. The point guard was just one of six from the floor with four points in the first quarter.

"We closed the lane on him, every time he tried to drive he ran into a wall," Gardner said. "The guys did a pretty good job of it and made him work for everything he got tonight."

LoVett's slow start was the result of a number of hard fouls that wore him down and weren't consistently called by the referees, Baskerville said.

"There were a lot of hard fouls," he said. "The refs at some point have to clean it up."

The Lancers began to pull away early in the contest, as their defense forced six turnovers in the first quarter. La Salle also played the strong on the other end in the opening frame, as it closed the quarter on a 12-0 run -- with four different players scoring in that span – to go into the second up, 23-10.

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