I will be at The Arena at the Anaheim Convention Center covering our two championship basketball games. Tipoff for the Division 3AA final is 4:45 p.m. and I’ll do my best to keep you updated on a quarter-by-quarter basis. I’ll update this blog with stories and photo galleries later in the evening, probably once I beat traffic and get home.
THE ARENA, ANAHEIM CONVENTION CENTER
La Caada vs. L.A. Price, 4:45 p.m.
By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Last Friday night, the La Caada High School boys basketball team got something it’s rarely needed all season – a clutch shot with the game on the line.
To nobody’s surprise, Michael McGlashan was the one who delivered it.
The Spartans haven’t been in too many close games this season, but that’s the position they were in during their CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA semifinal showdown at Palm Springs last week.
Down one with less than 10 seconds to play in overtime, the instructions from Spartans coach Tom Hofman to McGlashan were simple.
“Coach just said, ‘If you get a good look, take it, and if you don’t, just dish it to whoever’s open,’ ” McGlashan said.
McGlashan got a good look, in the key, and hit the jumper that gave La Caada a 61-60 win and punched the Spartans’ ticket to today’s final, in which it’ll play Price at Anaheim Convention Center. Tipoff is at 4:45 p.m.
“It was amazing to know that I helped out in whatever way,” McGlashan said.
“I had just missed a free throw (moments earlier), so to come back and hit a shot like that was huge.”
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The Spartans will need everything McGlashan has got and then some against a Price team that’s considered one of the top teams in the state, but coming up big while supposedly outmanned is something McGlashan and La Caada have done quite well this postseason.
In the quarterfinals, the Spartans rode McGlashan’s 28 points, five rebounds and five assists to a double-overtime win over a Bishop Montgomery team that many pegged to beat La Caada.
Against Palm Springs, the Spartans outlasted another opponent that many felt was too athletic for them to handle. McGlashan acknowledges, however, that Price may be an entirely different animal.
“Yeah, they’ve got great players, but if we play our game, I think they should be worried about us,” McGlashan said. “We have to approach them like we do any other team. We know they’re a great team and they’ve got great players, but we also know that they’re beatable. Teams have played great games with them before.
“Our biggest thing is we have to go in there, not get nervous, and know that we can compete with them. They’re going to take us lightly, but we’re going to come out there to play.”
McGlashan, who has a 4.2 grade-point average, didn’t start playing basketball until he joined a local community league at age 8. He was also a club soccer and baseball player, but once he arrived at La Caada, he had to make a choice between the three sports.
“I knew I could play all three sports and play a little bit in each, but not focus on one,” McGlashan said.
“The other option was taking out two and just focusing on one. I thought about it with my parents. Obviously, basketball, with my height (6-foot-2), I knew I didn’t have much of a chance to play beyond (high school), but for some reason, basketball is just a sport that I love, and so I just stuck with that. I had to give up my other two sports, but ever since then, it’s just been great.”
McGlashan, a senior, has been a varsity starter for three years and holds a pretty lofty place in Hofman’s book, and that’s saying something given how much talent the veteran coach has seen run through his program.
“He’s one of the great offensive scorers that I’ve had as a guard, and I’ve been here 25 years,” Hofman said.
“He’s one of the top two or three guards of all time at La Caada, for sure.”
Should the Spartans be on the verge of a major upset today against Price and in need of another heroic shot, McGlashan is confident he’ll make the right decision with the ball, whether it’s him shooting it or passing to the open man.
“I’m one of the guys who likes to have the ball at the end and likes to be in control of the game,” McGlashan said. “If I had a shot, I would definitely take it, but if I’m being double-teamed, I’d be more than happy to give it up.
“Nothing would be better than to end this year with a CIF championship, no matter how we do in state.”