LA CANADA-FLINTRIDGE — So much for the La Canada High School girls basketball team running away with the Rio Hondo League title.
South Pasadena put a stop to that in a big way on Wednesday night thanks to a hot start and a unrelenting defense. The visiting Tigers held first-place La Canada scoreless for the entire second quarter and almost half of the third en route to a 52-27 win.
“We knew we had to play our best game against La Canada and the girls came out ready to go,” Tigers coach Tammy Lai said. “We’re getting better. We’re still pretty young.”
The win improved South Pasadena to 16-4 overall and 4-1 in league. The Tigers’ loss last week to San Marino combined with La Canada’s 4-0 start in league had the Spartans sitting pretty entering Wednesday as they could have finished the first round of Rio Hondo play perfect. Instead, La Canada fell to 13-8.
While La Canada threw up bricks in the second quarter, South Pasadena was busy parlaying its high-energy defense into points. The Tigers took their first double-figure lead of the game three munutes into the second quarter and had the lead up to 18 at halftime thanks to a layup by Kristen Kafkaloff.
La Canada wasn’t any better offensively to start the second half and South Pasadena capitalized by eventually taking a 36-10 lead in third quarter. That would be the Tigers’ biggest margin of the game, and the damage was more than done.
This is a boys hoops Top 10 rankings of the Star-News teams, but not necessarily the Top 10 you’ll see in the paper.
1. Pasadena (13-5) — This one’s obvious …
2. Muir (12-9) — Suggestion: Just let DADA flow.
3. Flintridge Prep (12-5) — That win over La Salle is nice.
4. Maranatha (16-5) — I admit it, not getting enough love.
5. La Salle (10-7) — Tough league taking its toll.
6. Keppel (15-7) — Getting by on hustle, system and 3s.
7. Temple City (14-5) — Decent inside/outside game.
8. Gabrielino (14-6) — Eagles have had their moments.
9. La Canada (11-9) — Still dangerous because of coach.
10. Alhambra (11-7) — Keppel preventing Moors of more.
It would have been REAL interesting if not for a dramatic turn of events. Trailing 47-41 with four minutes to play, Muir came up with a steal and found Taturs Mayberry alone in the back court for what looked like an easy score. But Mayberry opted for some showtime than a guaranteed deuce and bricked a layup that would have made it 47-43.
The Dena’s Andre Spight said thank you very much on the next possession and drained a 3-pointer that sent the Dogs on their way.