Boys’ basketball concluded its season with a 62-50 loss in the first round of CIF-SS against Gabrielino High School on February 17. South Pasadena finished its campagin with a 3-7 Rio Hondo League record and an overall record of 11-17.
Opening possessions were filled with missed opportunities and easy turnovers on both sides. The Tigers’ height disadvantage started to show as rebounds fell into the hands of Eagle player Grant Kirchhoff, who dominated the paint on both sides of the court. Although South Pas was able to develop good ball movement, the team was ice cold in the first half, down by a score of 25-14 by the end of the first two quarters.
Returning to play in the second half, senior Alex Nakagawa intensified the South Pas offense with decisive five points. Gabrielino would look to Kirchhoff to close out the game for South Pas with easy points under the basket. Senior Ray Arismendez responded by sinking two consecutive three pointers from the corner, pulling South Pas into a one-possession game.
The Eagles slowly gained the upper hand in the fourth quarter with successful, crucial shots to increase their lead to nine points. South Pas did not easily back down, however, as Arismendez completed a four-point play after knocking down a long-range shot. After getting fouled again on another three-point attempt, Arismendez completed all three free throws and cut the deficit to four points. Gabrielino would ultimately pull ahead of South Pas with second chance points from offensive rebounds and claim the victory with a final score of 62-50.
“At the beginning of the season, few predicted that we would clinch a berth in CIF playoffs,” junior Lucas Fox said. “We just have to keep moving forward to make next season another