By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
SAN MARINO – The San Marino High School boys basketball team has a solid history within the Rio Hondo League.
The Titans have won no more than two league games in each of the past eight seasons. Well, San Marino made certain it has two wins, in as many starts, this season. The Titans built a 20-point lead against visiting South Pasadena and held on for a 60-45 win.
“It’s been a while,” San Marino coach Mihael Papadopulos said of the 2-0 start. “It’s been nice. The boys have really vested a lot of time into this and really believe in what they can do.”
San Marino last went 2-0 in league in the 2005 season, but then lost its next eight league games. Max Taw and Jasper Hwang are intent on making sure the Titans do not suffer that pitfall this season.
Taw had a game-high 17 points and Hwang had 16 points, scoring all but two in the first half. San Marino hit 40 percent (8 of 20) of its 3-point attempts.
“It’s all the work coming together,” Taw said. “We practice our shots and then we made them. We’re on a roll right now, but we have La Canada next, so we can’t be complacent.”
What certainly helped the Titans was the poor shooting performance of the Tigers, who entered the league game also 1-0. South Pasadena had only 15 points at halftime and trailed, 34-15.
“We didn’t shoot particularly well,” South Pasadena coach Timothy Brown said. “But that happens. San Marino shot outstanding from outside. We didn’t put the ball in the hole and they did.”
The Tigers shot 20.8 percent (5 of 24) in the first half and made only 13 field goals for the game.
“We came out flat-footed,” said Alireza Jabalameli, who had a team-high 14 points. “We weren’t ready. That’s all.”
South Pasadena did cut the lead to 10 serveral times in the fourth quarter, forcing the Titans into 11 of their 21 turnovers.
“In the second half we got a little excited,” Papadopulos said.