Written by Matt Wakumoto
Assoc. Sports Editor
Photo by Tucker Judkins
Online Managing Editor
The boys’ basketball team lost its fifth consecutive league game of the season to the undefeated La Cañada Spartans, on Wednesday, January 25. Despite showing glimpses of brilliance in the first quarter, the team folded under the pressure of La Cañada’s imposing guards and dominance in the paint. The 89-62 loss cements South Pas’ record at 6-14 heading into the second half of the season.
The South Pasadena fans rejoiced early in the game, as the Tigers passionately ran the court against La Cañada. The team entered the game as underdogs, pitted against the large-looming, first place Spartans. Despite entering with low expectations, the team’s speed gave them a slight edge over their opponents, as they outran, and outgunned their seemingly stunned opposition. Senior Matt Scholtz opened scoring with a drive in fast break, giving South Pas a 2-0 lead. Careless Tiger turnovers and fouls continued to be a problem for South Pas’ hyper-aggressive players, who gave up twelve points from the foul line. The team displayed heightened energy, with a powerful fast break, and consistent attack from behind the arc. Scholtz and senior Lucas Fox both hit three’s, that swayed momentum in South Pasadena’s favor. Sophomore Matthew Mayemura, had a compelling performance, with a solid drive and dagger over the head’s of La Cañada defenders.
The South Pasadena zone trap was able to aptly apply pressure and force rushed shots from La Canada. Sophomore Sebastian Au Rivera hit a big three, as momentum swayed between the two rivals. Junior Nick Corvino converted a four point play, after nailing a three, which helped South Pas cut into a four point La Cañada lead. The Tigers stayed in the game for the remainder of the quarter, behind a big performance from sophomore Louis Jamerson, who scored five points.
The physically taxed Tigers were unable to maintain their exceptional effort in the second and third quarters. The Spartans found dominance, following a short halftime. They fended off the Tigers, with big threes, and an ever growing lead that extended far beyond South Pas’ reach. They jockeyed for control of the game, only to have La Cañada thrash their confidence with excellent ball movement, and outside shooting. By the time the buzzer rang, signifying the end of the third, South Pas was down 74-49, without an answer to the surging Spartans.
South Pas was able to showcase their depth off the bench, with meaningless scores in the fourth quarter. Fox capped off the game with another three, in an impressive, 15 point performance. He was followed by Scholtz, who scored 11 points. Au River, Jamerson, and Mayemura scored big points off the bench, with six, five, and five, respectively.
South Pas will seek their first win of the season against the Monrovia Wildcats on Friday, January 27. The Wildcats rank in third place in the Rio Hondo, with a 3-2 record.
“We just want to win games. We are going into the second half of the season ready to win and fight all game long.” said Fox.