Looking to remain undefeated, the Providence High girls’ basketball team faced a stern test when it met Alemany on Wednesday.
The Pioneers tipped off their season having won their first six games before entering a stretch of difficult competition for the remainder of December.
Providence saw its bid to stretch its winning streak fall to the wayside after it suffered a 59-44 loss to Alemany in a Providence High Tournament contest.
Providence (6-1) went nearly the first six minutes of the fourth quarter scoreless and saw Alemany (3-4) pull away with its stingy defense.
“There’s a lot we can learn from this game,” Providence coach Kristineh Zadourian said. “It’s all about consistency and I’m a believer in learning about the ups and downs that you have [during the season]. We’ve got to play better defensively the best way you possibly can.
“We have to be better at taking care of the basketball. It’s a long way for us to go, but they play hard and stick together.”
Lia Krumian finished with a game-high 29 points for the Pioneers. Krumian, a senior guard, had 18 first-half points to keep the Pioneers within earshot of the Warriors at halftime.
Krumian capped the first half with a layup at the buzzer to bring Providence to within 30-27. She scored Providence’s last seven points of the first half in the final 90 seconds.
“She’s everything you want in a player,” said Zadourian, who led the Pioneers to a third-place finish in the Prep League and a playoff appearance last season. “She brings out the best in everybody.”
Alemany, which finished fifth in the competitive Mission League last season, got a team-high 21 points from Jasmine Garcia and 15 from Kate Hackney. Garcia and Hackney collected 12 and eight points, respectively, in the second half.
Garcia made a three-pointer to give Alemany a 37-29 lead with 5:40 to go in the third quarter. Hackney scored on a layup to extend Alemany’s advantage to 42-31 with 3:37 left in the third quarter.
Providence trailed, 46-35, after the third quarter. The Pioneers were held scoreless in the fourth quarter until Krumian made two free throws with 2:13 remaining to bring Providence to within 55-37.
“We had too many turnovers in the fourth quarter,” said Zadourian, who received six points and six blocks from Sylvie Demirjian. “We got the stops on defense, but then we’d turn the ball over going the other way.”
Providence will compete in another tournament game against Moorpark on Friday.