Photos by Tucker Judkins
The varsity basketball team lost to the San Gabriel Academy Eagles, 74-50, at Jefferson Middle School on Tuesday, December 1.
With half of the players on the Eagles’ lineup standing at six feet tall or over, the South Pasadena Tigers faced a bigger and tougher opponent throughout the entire game. Despite the height difference, the Tigers persisted against the Eagles.
In the first quarter, a charge by sophomore Jaylen Park slowed the Eagle momentum to a halt and allowed the Tigers to set up their offense. Park would later tally up two free throws for South Pas after getting fouled in the key. Two three pointers from seniors Alex Nakagawa and Ray Arismendez extended the Tiger lead to 11-7 with South Pas controlling the court against their larger opponents. The Eagle offense steadily rose past the Tigers and ended the first quarter 13-23.
Although the Tigers intensity lasted throughout the half, the Eagles height proved to be the decisive factor in the game. With the Eagles controlling the rebounding on both sides of the court, South Pasadena had trouble making stops and scoring against the Eagle double team defense and amounting only three points in the second quarter for a halftime score of 16-38.
Ice cold shooting plagued the Tigers in the second quarter and set the ball rolling for the San Gabriel players who managed numerous fast breaks over South Pas. In an attempt to stop the Eagle runs, junior Stone Franco took a charge against the fast break. Although he received the call from the refs, Franco was led off the court after taking a hit to the head on the play.
The Tiger defense stayed determined against the Eagles; but with point after point from the San Gabriel big men adding to the total, the Tigers found themselves down 26-53 in the third quarter.
Junior Matt Scholtz kept the Tigers going with a couple three point conversions, but with the score at 34-54, it was too little and too late for any difference in the game. Realizing this, South Pasadena coach David Lutzeier subbed in the Tiger reserves to close off the game and end at a final of 74-50.
South Pasadena looks to bounce back against Azusa High School next Monday, December 7 on the Aztecs’ homecourt.