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Eagles swarm over Lions
Princeton High solidified its hold on second place in the Pioneer-Valley League boys basketball standings with a 55-38 victory Tuesday against visiting Providence Christian.
The Eagles (8-8, 4-1 PVL) had eight players score, and used that depth to run a full-court press nearly the entire game, often double- and triple-teaming Providence's dangerous guard Matthew Reese.
The Lions (4-12, 1-4 PVL) shot 69 percent from the free-throw line (22 for 32) but had little luck from the floor, making just eight buckets all game.
Sophomore Luis Angel took over at starting point-guard and showed why Princeton coach Travis Bennett put his faith in the youngster, by scoring 14 points, grabbing eight steals and making five assists.
Angel, who played his way into the starting lineup despite solid play by senior Eduardo Valencia, even made his mark on defense after defensive stopper Gavino Mitchum got into foul trouble.
"We put him on Reese and he slowed him down a little bit, that's my future and he played like it tonight," Bennett said.
Reese made just four baskets but kept the Lions in the game with 22 points — making 14 of 18 from the free-throw line — and adding 13 rebounds, seven steals and three assists.
Providence assistant coach Wesley Newman credited Reese's durability and stamina, keeping a team with just seven players going despite playing long minutes.
Princeton took a 42-22 lead into halftime with a swarming defense and efficient offense, but the Lions adjusted in the second half and limited the Eagles to 13 points after the break.
"I was proud of the way they played defense in the second half and they made their foul shots and they looked like a whole different team," Newman said.
Fernando Sotelo led Princeton with 19 points, 11 rebounds and four steals. Mitchum added nine points and six rebounds, and Julian Rosas scored six points and had six rebounds.
Seth Danley had a double-double for Providence with 11 points, 10 rebounds and blocked five shots.
Princeton has a big home game against third-place Redding Adventist on Tuesday, a team the Eagles beat 48-41 on Jan. 17.
Providence played Champion Christian on Friday and hosts Redding Adventist on Thursday.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or email@example.com.