Written By Matt Wakumoto
Assoc. Sports Editor
Photos By Tucker Judkins
Online Managing Editor
The boys’ basketball team lost its fourth league game of the season to the Blair Vikings on Friday, January 20. With tensions rising in the struggling program, the team displayed their versatility, with an impressive overall performance in the 73-52 road loss.
South Pas’ offense thrived early in the game, behind the physicality of senior Stone Franco, in the paint. His performance gave South Pasadena players good looks on the outside, allowing junior Nick Corvino to nail two open shots from behind the arc.
The team flaunted its new-found aggression, with momentum-changing scores from senior Lucas Fox. The captain scored seven points in the quarter, with two big steals and drives in fast break. He led the Tigers as they competed for control of the close game. South Pas players danced across the court, as they swarmed the surging Vikings with their zone trap. Despite a strong effort in the first half, the team was unable to carry their momentum into the third quarter. Its stagnant offense yielded only four points of total offense and one field goal in the first eight minutes of the second half.
“When it comes down to it, you have got to hit shots, in the 3rd quarter we missed a lot of shots and that let Blair run away with the lead.” said Franco.
Their defense was spotty in coverage against the hyper-talented Blair starters. The Viking’s tall guards punished gambling South Pas defenders with a myriad of three’s.
Senior Matt Scholtz contributed in the fourth quarter, with six points, in the team’s final struggle to seize the lead. Sophomore Sebastian Au Rivera and Franco each scored, as the team grappled for momentum against Blair’s stout shooting. Their performance reflected raw talent, mired by bad ball control and execution.
Franco finished the game with a season- high 12 points. The captains, Scholtz and Fox scored eight and ten points, respectively. Junior Danny Rios dropped nine points on Blair, with a pair of threes, and handful of free throws. Despite the lopsided final score, South Pas showed improvement in their ball movement and offensive fluency.
The team will hope to reverse its downward trend in Rio Hondo play against the league leading La Cañada Spartans on Wednesday, January 25.