Story and Photo by Zoe Chen
Staff Writer and Photographer
The South Pasadena Tigers played the Temple City Rams in the Tigers’ final home game of the season. The game featured more defensive play than offensive, but South Pasadena still took the lead to win by 38 points.
The Tigers lost the tip off to the Rams, but only three seconds later, a Ram foul landed the ball back into the Tigers’ hands. Senior point guard Ava Chang then scored the Tigers the first two points of the game, giving the Tigers a slight 2-0 edge. A three-pointer from senior center Natalie Wilson followed. However, a few missed Tiger shots and a Ram two two-pointer led South Pasadena to call a timeout and send junior shooting guard Kayla Boozer into the game.
A stretch of dribbling and interceptions followed, and the score remained unchanged for almost two minutes. The spell was broken by senior point guard Dylan Tse, whose three-pointer — the first of the game — brought the Tigers to 7-2.
Boozer managed to intercept the ball as Temple City prepared to shoot, and her solo dribble down the court led to another two points for the Tigers. Before the Rams had the chance to move the ball back down the court, a smooth pass from senior shooting guard Yuzu Harada to senior point guard Jamie Rain Kim allowed Kim to score a three-pointer, putting the Rams further behind at 12-2.
Temple City then experienced a burst of energy, scoring numerous two- and three-pointers while South Pasadena watched, defenseless. As the last seconds of the period slipped by, the Tigers attempted an extremely far shot from the Rams’ free throw line to their own hoop. The ball slid just under the net, only inches too low, and the period ended with a score of 14-9.
The Tigers better defined their lead during the second period, but the Rams stayed dangerously close behind. The beginning of the period featured much back and forth up and down the court, with both teams flaunting strong defensive skills, but neither team able to score. Finally, a pass from Tse to Kim set Kim up for a clean shot. Sure enough, Kim’s three-pointer sailed cleanly through the net, bringing the score to 16-11.
A Temple City foul allowed Tse one free throw, which she easily made. A deceptive bounce shot from junior shooting guard Maddy Wong to Tse put Tse in a prime position for a two-pointer, which she shot and made. As the scoreboard updated to 26-14, the Rams called a full timeout.
Multiple plays in the final minutes of the period resulted in players on the ground, vying for the ball after passes and interceptions gone wrong. Boozer then scored a three-pointer from almost half a court away, followed by a three-pointer from Kim. A last shot attempt from Boozer, which miraculously sailed through the hoop, closed the half 34-22.
The game proved to have a much slower point gain than previous league games, such as the 121-10 blowout against Monrovia or the 90-21 versus Blair. However, in the third and fourth periods of the Temple City game, the Tigers maintained a comfortable lead over the Rams — more than enough to win.
Boozer’s early third period two-pointer gained the Tigers a few more points, but one of many Tiger fouls followed, giving the Rams possession of the ball. Throughout the course of the game, Tiger outs gave the Rams possession of the ball upwards of 20 times, while the opposite happened rarely.
Still, Temple City trailed by 14 points at 36-22, and after another two-pointer from Tse, the Rams called their third timeout.
Boozer then intercepted the Rams’ ball, and a smooth pass from Boozer to Tse and back to Boozer resulted in a clean shot and another three points for the Tigers, 42-25. The period clock dipped below a minute, and a final three-pointer from junior point guard Mia Leach closed the period at 49-30.
The Tigers steadily upped their score in the first half of the fourth period. Temple City called their final timeout with two minutes left in the period, but by then it seemed too late for the Rams to catch up; the Tigers led by 31 points, 67-36. Senior point guard Ava Chang’s impressive three-pointer set the Tigers’ score to be double that of the Rams.
A final three-pointer from Kim gained the Tigers 76-36, and after both teams let the last 10 seconds of the period clock run down, the Tigers won the game with exactly double the number of points of the Rams — 76-38.
A ceremony for the graduating seniors followed the game. Each walked down the court with leis and flowers, and accompanied by their families, were honored for their years at South Pasadena and were wished the best for their years beyond high school.
“I’m proud of everyone,” Harada said. “But I’m really sad right now because my team is really great and they’re really amazing. So I’m going to miss them.”
The Tigers are currently ranked first and undefeated in the Rio Hondo League. They will play the Monrovia Wildcats in an away game on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 5:30 p.m.