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Girls' basketball group honored with All-CIF awards

Girls' basketball: Providence's Benedicto and Dabbaghian, along with Burroughs' Shellmire and Village's Pyros, earn accolades.

March 25, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
  • Calvary Chapel's Ariel Burris, left, attempts to steal the ball from Providence's Bea Benedicto during the CIF Southern Section Division V-AA first-round playoffs, which took place at Providence High School in Burbank on Thursday, February 14, 2013. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)
Calvary Chapel's Ariel Burris, left, attempts… (Cheryl A. Guerrero…)

Bea Benedicto and Katie Dabbaghian were two players with distinctively different styles this season for the Providence High girls' basketball team.

For Benedicto, a senior forward, she was a physical, grinding presence, posting up and getting the majority of her points under the basket. In contrast, Dabbaghian, a sophomore guard, was the court general for the Pioneers, as her slashing style and quickness posed problems for opponents.

Despite their differences, both Benedicto and Dabbaghian enjoyed their share of success during the 2012-13 season. The two also have something else in common, as they earned All-CIF Southern Section honors, which were released Monday.

While Benedicto was a first-team choice in Division V-AA, Dabbaghian made the second team. It is the second straight season the pair has garnered All-CIF accolades.

Also joining the two Pioneers were Burroughs senior Aysia Shellmire, who was a second-team pick in Division I-A, and Burbank resident Samantha Pyros, a senior at Village Christian who made the Division V-AA first team.

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Benedicto was a four-year standout for the Pioneers. This past season she was voted the Liberty League Player of the year after sharing the honor as a junior. In addition, Benedicto leaves the Providence program after helping the team capture four straight league championships.

"I know we had a very tough schedule this season and that gave us the opportunity to play against some very tough teams," Benedicto said. "I think that helped me be a better player. Overall, it was just a great season for the team.

"I put a lot of pressure on myself to have a good season. But our coaches really helped me out and they helped take some of the pressure off of me."

With Benedicto doing most of her damage in the paint, she averaged a team-high 9.9 points a game to go along with 5.6 rebounds. She also averaged 1.1 steals a game.

"Once you challenge her and tell her that if she plays well that we're probably going to do well, she accepts that challenge," Providence Coach Andrew Bencze said. "And she took that responsibility very seriously. And when she didn't have a good game she felt terrible about it.

"But she worked really hard this season and she put in the extra work to get better. She even would have an extra conditioning workout after our regular practice. That's how dedicated she was."

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