Providence Boys’ Basketball Survives Streaky Sylmar

Pioneers nearly get a scare against a tough squad in a nonleague contest.


It wasn’t really clear what kind of an opponent the Providence High boys’ basketball team was playing Tuesday night when Sylmar visited in a nonleague contest.
The Pioneers looked to be in total command early on, but received a scare in the second half only to pull away 84-72 in the end.
“In the first half we did a great job of defending. We minimized turnovers and we shared it,” Pioneers coach Anthony Cosby said. “Going into the second half, the immature part of us was that Sylmar was going to lay down. They are a well coached City Section school. They are gritty, they are tough.”
Sylmar is coached by Bort Escoto, who is in his 30th season. He is the longest tenured boys’ basketball coach in the Los Angeles City Section and in the San Fernando Valley.
Providence (1-1) allowed just one player to score for Sylmar in the first quarter, as the Pioneers went up 20-15 against the Gabriel Sidon-led Spartans.
The Pioneers continued make things difficult on Sylmar as a pair of three pointers by Solomon Huang and one from Alex Kizirian made things quite comfortable going into the halftime break with a 42-24 lead.
But that was when Sylmar woke up and in a big way, scoring 36 points in the third quarter alone.
Sylmar (1-3), which had never led, actually held the advantage for a short time early in the fourth quarter following a three pointer by Gustavo Lopez.
But thanks to the senior leadership of Jalen Thomas and Julian Thompkins, the Pioneers fought back.
Thomas hit four consecutive free throws early in the fourth quarter to keep off the threat. Kizirian hit a huge three pointer with 4:36 to play to push the Providence lead to 73-64.
Thompkins led Providence with 26 points. Kizirian finished with 18. Sophomore Riley Murphy had 15 points. Thomas finished with 14 points. Huang, who is also a sophomore, had 11 points.
Sylmar was led by freshman Joseph Dixon, who finished with 26 points, 21 of which came in the third quarter.
Sidon had 24 points for Sylmar.