Photos by Tucker Judkins
The Tigers clinched their first win of the season at home against Monrovia High School with a final score of 68-56 on Wednesday, January 27.
Both teams were itching to make a presence on the court as the scoreboard lit up with a Tiger basket, only to have the Wildcats counter back. South Pas rallied the crowd on a three pointer from junior Lucas Fox, which was followed shortly after by a three from senior Alex Nakagawa to keep the score close. Monrovia quickly recovered from the deficit and made quick work by using their height advantage over the Tigers. Although the Wildcats came back late in the first, Nakagawa would give the South Pas the lead with a buzzer beater three pointer with a first quarter score of 17-16.
The Tigers came back in the second quarter with senior Ray Arizmendez leading South Pas on the arc and opening with three three pointers to distance the lead against the Wildcats. The Tigers defense held Monrovia to seven points in the quarter and held the lead with a score of 31-23.
Heading into the half, Monrovia started gaining momentum with a seven point run to erase the deficit between the two teams. Junior Matt Scholtz ignited the Tiger offense with a two point floater off the glass; followed by Arismendez with a clutch three beyond the arc to hold off the Wildcat advance. Freshman Louis Jamerson added two free throws of his own to cap off the third quarter with a 43-37 score.
South Pas continued its shooting from the arc with a three pointer from Nakagawa and Fox each. The Wildcat offense began to crumble after a 10 point run extended the lead for South Pas early in the quarter. With the Tigers in firm control of the floor, Coach Dave Lutzeier subbed in the Tiger reserves to close off the game with a final score of 68-56.
“The key to our success was knocking down big shots and our defensive intensity [in the end],” Fox said.
South Pasadena looks to extend their record to 2-4 in their next matchup against San Marino High School at home on Friday, January 29.