Providence Boys’ Basketball Sees Season Come To A Close

Pioneers can't get on track, suffer 66-47 home loss to Palos Verdes in CIF Southern Section Division II-A first-round postseason contest.

(Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

Hardly anything went right at both ends of the court, leading to a quick playoff departure for the Providence High boys’ basketball team.

The Pioneers had difficulty rebounding and defending long-distance shots, ultimately quelling their dream at winning the program’s first CIF championship.

Providence yielded 15 three-point baskets and 17 offensive rebounds en route to a disappointing 66-47 home defeat against Palos Verdes in a CIF Southern Section Division II-A first-round playoff game Wednesday.

(Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

Providence (17-11) held a brief lead early before Palos Verdes (18-10) took charge with its dazzling display of converting on long-range jump shots and alert play near the baskets that led to a major rebounding advantage.

It made for a long evening for the Pioneers, who split the Prep League championship with Flintridge Prep under the tutelage of coach Anthony Cosby.

“You tip your hat to Palos Verdes,” Cosby said. “Everything we saw on film of them, we saw here tonight. They shot the ball well and made all the right plays. They are in love with their roles and they just played a great game.

“We didn’t play our brand of basketball and we weren’t ready to match Palos Verdes’ effort. We came out of the locker room at halftime defeated.”

Palos Verdes, which received an at-large berth after placing fifth in the Bay League, got a game-high 28 points from Alex Hassanein. Hassanein registered five three-pointers and made all nine of his free-throw attempts to thwart Providence.

The Sea Kings also got 14 points from Dino Aguirre and 10 offensive rebounds from Sean Cosgrove.

The Pioneers couldn’t match Palos Verdes’ talented trio, yet got a team-high 23 points from senior forward Kaiden Fine.

“They didn’t miss their shots and we did,” said Fine, who had six first-quarter points. “They seemed to keep making their three’s and two’s weren’t going to do it for us. Our shots didn’t fall and it was tough.”

Palos Verdes held a 31-20 halftime advantage before building a 50-29 lead after the third quarter. Hassanein made a three-pointer to give the Sea Kings a 45-27 lead with 1:50 remaining in the third quarter.

Aguirre had three three-pointers in the second half to provide support for Hassanein.

A basket by Fine, who had six rebounds and two assists, brought the Pioneers to within 54-39 with 5:12 left in the fourth quarter.

The Pioneers got 12 points and six rebounds from Maxwell Hudnall and six points from Julian Thompkins.

Cosgrove and Will Jorczak had six points apiece for Palos Verdes, which will face Walnut in a second-round contest Friday.

Meanwhile, Providence will look to regroup and get ready for next season.

“We’ll have some guys returning and they got some good experience,” Cosby said. “Also, it will be great to contend for a league title and defend it.”

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