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Providence High girls' basketball thumps rival Bell-Jeff

Basketball: Pioneers girls' squad notches lopsided 65-23 win over Guards.

December 21, 2013|By Emin Avakian, Special to the Burbank Leader
  • Tiffany Almary and the Providence High girls' basketball team routed Bellarmine-Jefferson on Saturday.
Tiffany Almary and the Providence High girls' basketball… (Mike Mullen )

BURBANK — For the first time since the 2008-2009 season, the Providence High and Bellarmine-Jefferson girls’ basketball teams met on the hardwood in a nonleague game Saturday at Providence High.

In their previous meeting, the Guards defeated the Pioneers by 60 points during a time the program was winning Santa Cruz League titles and making deep playoff runs.

Fast forward four years to Bell-Jeff currently rebuilding in a transition period and it was evident against a formidable Providence team that faced little resistance from the Guards in a 65-23 victory in the tilt between the two Burbank-area squads.

PHOTOS: Providence High girls' basketball beat rival Bell-Jeff in nonleague game

While Bell-Jeff has seen four head coaches in that span, Andrew Bencze was at the helm the last time the teams met on Dec. 13, 2009 and was pleased to get a win in the temporarily renewed rivalry.

“Bell-Jeff is in a rebuilding year and they need all the experience they can get and we’re at the place now where we’re playing good basketball,” said Bencze, who received a stellar all-around performance from junior guard Katia Dabbaghian. “We did some good things. It’s a rivalry between fellow Catholic schools, so it’s always nice to beat them.”

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Eddie Miller is in his first year as head coach of the Guards after Stan Delus coached the team last season, with the bar raised high from Jaclyn Johnson’s tenure. She took the reins from Bryan Camacho in the 2010-2011 campaign.

Miller realizes it’s going to take some time before Bell-Jeff girls’ basketball is back to its winning ways.

“I’d like to see more consistent team play,” Miller said. “We have volleyball and softball players out of their element right now. It’s about getting them comfortable with a basketball IQ and it’s the little things like playing hard and staying in front of a player on defense.

“If we can accomplish that, then everything else will take care of itself.”

The Guards struggled in all facets in their matchup with Providence, most telling in a second half in which they made one field goal and trailed by as many as 43 points. Mackenzie Dowling was the lone Guard to score in double figures with 12 points.

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