GBK: Lions capture first-ever CIF championship

Providence Hall’s girls baskebtall team won the first CIF title in school history on Saturday as the Lions defeated Rio Hondo Prep 49-46 in the championship game of the Southern Section’s Division 6 at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana.

The Lions led most of the game, although never by much.

Rio Hondo Prep led by one point at halftime but entered the fourth quarter trailing 39-33. The Kares began the final period on a 7-0 run that gave them the lead only to have Providence Hall collect themselves and push back into the lead.

It remained tight for the last five minutes, and was a one-possession game throughout the final three minutes.

Down 47-46 with 30 seconds remaining, Rio Hondo could not score again.

Providence Hall point guard Lacey Gonzalez, who finished with six assists and four steals, knocked down two free throws with 12 seconds on the clock to complete the final score.

Providence Hall wins after losing in last year’s final to Orangewood Academy. The small-school from Santa Barbara is in just its third year playing in CIF.

The Lions had been averaging just over 63 points per game in three postseason games. They never lost this season when scoring 45 or more points.

Lions leading scorer Sydney Hedges was held to 13 points while dealing with constant double teams and some triple-teams from the Kares’ defense.

“This put the burden for success on the other players to respond and they did,” said Providence Hall head coach Ernie Quiroz.

Olivia Barroca led all scorers with 16 points, including four key 3-pointers. Elizabeth Beebe’s nine points and 13 rebounds made a strong impact.

Find more information regarding the CIF Ford Championships HERE