By Cole Cahill
Assoc. Feature Editor
Photos by Thomas Forman
Girls’ basketball entered the La Cañada court already weighed down by the intense pressure of the third league game. The Tigers have defeated LC for the past three years by just a few points, and were attempting to uphold their record without senior point guard Kristen Kafkaloff, the team’s top scorer, in the starting lineup due to sickness.
The Spartans were posed to be South Pas’s toughest Rio Hondo opponent, an expectation they lived up to with a final score of 72-42. However, the win for the Spartans did not come without an outstanding performances from the Tigers.
La Cañada started the game off with a shot in the first few seconds of the game, but was immediately countered by a 2-pointer from sophomore Tiffany Holmes. However, the Tiger offense wasn’t enough to keep LC from gaining an 8-2 lead in the first two minutes. Junior Jade Lin knocked down a three pointer towards the end of the first quarter, but the buzzer ran out with 23-13 Spartans on the scoreboard.
The second quarter of the match was when the Tigers began to slip even further. The score jumped to 31-16 in three minutes, and by the six minute mark the Spartans were up to 40 points. Just before the first half came to a close, though, Lin came back with a basket, shifting the game’s momentum moving into the second half.
“We played a slower game than normal. We needed to work harder on defense and push the ball up the court a little bit more,” sophomore Kiana Reynolds said.
To usher in a brighter third quarter, Lin scored a three pointer right off the buzzer, keeping the excitement going before halftime. By the end of the period, the Tigers had tightened up the score to 56-33. Kafkaloff was back in the game by the start of the fourth quarter and scored a three pointer. Unfortunately, the game’s leading scorer, Jade Lin, went out with a temporary injury, further weakening the already-shorthanded squad.
Although Lin went back in the game for the final minutes, her tenacity along with the efforts of the rest of the team was not enough to tighten the score the way they needed. The game concluded with a score of 72-42. The team is still hopeful going into the rest of its league season, and hopes to further improve the record in a game against Temple City on Friday, January 22 and aims to improve the strategy of denying larger players on defense.
“[Temple City] is competitive, but they’re a beatable team, as our coach would say. We just need to play to our ability and we can beat them.” Reynolds said.