Stingy defense sends Providence Hall to semifinals

If defense wins championships, then Providence Hall’s chances at a CIF title ought to be pretty good.

The school’s girls basketball team defeated L.A. Adventist 37-19 on Wednesday in the CIF Division 6 quarterfinals. The semifinals are Saturday and the Lions host third-seeded Valley Christian Academy at Westmont with tipoff at 5 p.m.

The Lions played lock-down defense and held their opponents to just one field goal and five points in the first half.

Sydney Hedges led the team with 18 points and six rebounds while Faith Emerson scored 11.

The Lions jumped out to an early lead, starting the game on a 7-0 run and were up 11-2 after the first quarter.

Providence Hall had a clear size advantage and used its length to frustrate L.A. Adventist’s offense. The Lions hustled to close out on shooters and forced several errant shots.

Aggressive defense led to a lot of whistles, and several Providence Hall players were in foul trouble early.

“We just definitely need to be more disciplined,” head coach Ariana Gnekow said. “There was no reason for us to have those fouls. We were just being lazy.”


Emerson was one of the players who racked up fouls early in the game and her presence was missed on the offensive end of the floor.

Hedges picked up the slack and was able to get inside of the L.A. Adventist defense.

“Sydney started to drive more,” Gnekow said. “She started to create some offense.”

With time winding down in the first half, Emerson returned to the game and proved why the team needed her scoring abilities. Just seconds remained in the half as she put up a long three-point shot and swished it through to give her team a 23-5 lead at the break.

In the third quarter L.A. Adventist’s Janae Daniels finally found a way to beat the Lions’ defense. The sophomore point-guard hit four three pointers and scored 14 of her team’s 19 points.

While Daniels started to heat up, the Providence Hall scorers stalled.

“I’m glad our defense was great, but we definitely need to pick up our offense –maybe run the ball more,” Gnekow said.

Daniels’ was able to slightly close the lead, but the Lions never let their opponents get within a single-digit margin.

L.A. Adventist (15-6) came out of the Mulholland League and was the No. 10 seed in the playoffs.

Providence Hall (16-6) is not affiliated with a league and came into the postseason tournament as the No. 2 seed.




  1. Luke Gonzalez says

    Great Article!