By Julian Prime
Photos by Matthew Scholtz
The boys’ basketball team claimed its fourth straight league victory of the year on Friday, January 23, defeating the Monrovia Wildcats 53-43. The team is now 4-0 in league and sits atop the Rio Hondo standings with victories over Blair, La Cañada, Temple City, and now Monrovia.
Only 25 seconds into the game junior Greg Luck‘s elbow came down hard on the head of a Monrovia player, who ended up lacerating his forehead and spilling blood on the court. An ambulance would eventually come to tend to the player, who would be alright. After a 10 minute cleaning delay, the game resumed. The Tiger offense was shaky in the beginning of the game, and had to be opened up by a Raymond Arismendez three. Star point guard Joey Toyama woke the offense up with an athletic full court layup, and helped the Tigers develop a 19-8 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Average play plagued both teams all night, and this was especially apparent in the second quarter. Still leading 24-13, the Tiger offense eventually found its footing and the defense was looking solid. Luck hit a three and produced a block right after to revitalize the Tigers’ game. Consistency from outside the arc was a difficult part of the game for the Tigers, and they went into halftime leading 31-20.
The Wildcats came out strong in the second half, and began making a run. The team brought their deficit down to 38-30 by the end of the third quarter. The fourth quarter started off with a great shot from beyond the arc from senior Christian Lee, which was answered almost immediately with one from the Wildcats. Arismendez came right back out and buried two of his own, putting the Tigers up 47-32. Not long after, Arismendez broke the ankles of his defenders and racked up three more points. The Tigers continued to possess the ball, but weren’t looking to run up the score. When the clock hit zero, the Tigers held the lead at 53-43.
The Tigers will look to remain undefeated with a win over the rival San Marino Titans on Wednesday, January 28 at home.
Team: 9-16 3-point
Toyama: 21 points, 4 rebounds, 2-3 3-point
Arismendez: 14 points, 2 rebounds, 4-5 3-point
G. Luck: 9 points, 2 rebounds
M. Luck: 6 rebounds
Stats by Nicholas Baer