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Girls' basketball teams hoping to find success after graduation of key players

Girls' basketball: Providence looks to have another talented team, has hopes of a fifth league title and more.

November 19, 2013|By Jeff Tully,
(File Photo )

Burbank High girls' basketball Coach Bruce Breeden thinks his program is long overdue for a league championship.

"I was looking it up with [athletic director] Fred [Cook] and we found out that the last time a Burbank girls' team won a league title was during the 1910-11 season. Can you believe that? That's over 100 years without a title," Breeden said. "Yeah, I would say that we're way overdue."

Burbank, along with the other three local teams, are coming off successful seasons in which all three advanced to the CIF Southern Section playoffs. Providence pushed it even a step further by winning a Liberty League championship and advancing to the CIF semifinals for the second consecutive year. Burroughs also had title success, grabbing a piece of the Pacific League championship.

However, all four squads lost their share of talent from a year ago, mostly to graduation. But with a solid group of returners and some fresh faces mixed in, all four teams go into the 2013-14 season with high expectations.


Here is a closer look at how the teams are shaping up.


The Pioneers have taken over the reins from Bell-Jeff as the most successful girls' basketball team in the city.

"I have been coaching for a very long time and you want to get your program to a point where winning is expected," said Bencze, whose team went 20-11 last season, a season in which he picked up his 300th victory. "The great thing is the kids buy into it and they want to be a part of that winning tradition. All I have to do is remind them about a loss last year and they will work harder. I think our program is in a great place right now."

Providence is coming off a season in which it defeated Buckley, 59-54, to win the first-ever Liberty League Tournament and secure its fourth-straight championship. The No. 2-seeded Pioneers did well in the Division V-AA playoffs to advance to the semifinals. However, Providence wasn't able to advance to the program's first championship game after losing to Village Christian, 46-45.

In the CIF State Basketball Championships, Providence won its first-round game against Tri-County Christian, 42-29, before falling to No. 2 Sierra Canyon, 78-30.

The biggest loss to graduation was All-CIF and All-Area selection Bea Benedicto, the Liberty League Player of the Year. 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.

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