Despite a slow start to the season, many still consider Monrovia (4-3, 2-0) the team to beat in the Rio Hondo League, leaving others to dub any kind of league race as “the race for second place.”
South Pasadena (5-2, 2-0) and San Marino (5-2, 2-0) clearly are the two teams vying for the second guaranteed playoff spot into the Mid-Valley Division playoffs. That there’s a race at all goes to show the giant strides made at both San Marino and South Pasadena. The last time the Titans made the playoffs was under D.R. Moreland in 2009 when they reached the second round.
It’s been much longer for the Tigers. They lost to Serra of Gardena in 2003, so when South Pasadena got off to a strong start this season, some wondered if the Tigers finally were ready to compete for a playoff spot, and so far they’ve shown they’re definitely in the hunt.
“We put the pressure on ourselves,” said South Pasadena coach Martin Konrad earlier this season. “That’s the one thing these guys have to adjust to, expectations. You win games and people start expecting things about you and you have to be able to handle the pressure.”
The Titans host Monrovia this week, a tall task in itself, while the Tigers take on Blair on Thursday. Regardless of the outcome, next week no doubt will have great significance because not only are South Pasadena and San Marino rivals, but the game could have playoff implications on the line.