Photos by Tucker Judkins
The South Pas girls basketball took on school rival La Canada on Friday, January 16 in their second conference game of the year, and walked off the court with a 71-38 victory.
The Tigers started the first quarter when junior guard Kristen Kafkaloff knocked down a two-pointer early. She was followed right after by senior guard Lexie Scholtz, taking a steal to finish a layup. With tough defense from both teams, La Canada guard Kristina Kurdoghlian managed a three point play after being fouled. Not long after, South Pas senior guard Elise Takahama scored a three-pointer, followed by Scholtz finishing the first quarter with two free throws. The Tigers took a 23-5 lead, managing five steals in the first quarter.
La Canada began to get in their offense going in the second quarter. After a four point play by the Spartans, Kafkaloff put South Pas back in the groove after receiving a baseball pass from Scholtz for an easy two points. La Canada immediately struck back when guard Sarah Kurdoghlian put up two more points. In the next possession, Takahama went on a five point streak after knocking down a three and two-pointer. Both teams began to dig in, exchanging points between each other until La Canada guard Stephanie Musso took a three-pointer to put the game in reach for the the Spartans. The Tigers managed to hold off La Canada for a halftime score of 33-20.
The Spartans slowly began to crawl their way back into the third quarter when La Canada guard Amber Graves made a two pointer the first possession of the third. The Tigers were slow to react and had trouble against La Canada’s defense until senior center Sophia Hathaway put South Pas back on the board with two points. From there, Kafkaloff and Scholtz put up two points each to keep La Canada out of reach and into the fourth quarter with a score of 55-32.
The Tigers kept up the intensity when Kafkaloff put up a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter. South Pas then went on a 7-0 run which was stopped by Kurdoghlian. At the bottom of the fourth, the crowd erupted when sophomore Jalynne Li took a two-point layup, taking away La Canadas momentum. Kafkaloff finished the game with layup to put the final score at 77-38.
“I’m happy with the way we played tonight,” head coach Tammy Lai said. “We were a little complacent at times but we were able pick up the intensity in the second half and I just want us to play hard and get better each game.”
Scholtz and Kafkaloff finished the game with 23 and 22 points, followed by Hathaway and Takahama , each with 16 points, and Li with 6 points.
“We tried to come out with a lot of intensity and keep it up the whole entire game,” Scholtz said. “We had to pick it up at halftime but stayed aggressive.”
The girls’ third conference game is scheduled at home against Temple City High School on Jan. 21 at 5:15. The previous season, South Pasadena won their two matchups against Temple City.
“This was the big game that we’d been working towards throughout our preseason and I think we played really well as a team,” Takahama said.