Photos by Tucker Judkins
Despite being down a player, the girls basketball team clinched its fourth consecutive Rio Hondo league victory over Monrovia High School with a score of 76-35 Friday, January 23.
The Tigers took the court without their center captain Sophia Hathaway, who sprained her ankle last game against La Cañada. Replacing her position was senior guard Lexie Scholtz, who took the task of commanding the key.
The game took off after Wildcat junior forward Zoe Bowden managed a layup for Monrovia. She was followed shortly after by teammate point guard Taylor Lan who put five more points on the board, forcing South Pas to play catch up. Luckily for South Pas, Scholtz knocked down a layup, giving the Tigers the momentum. Junior guard Kristan Kafkaloff added to that after making a two point jumpshot. With the Tigers slowly coming back, Wildcat point guard Lan struck down another three pointer to keep Monrovia in the lead. The Tigers finally got their act together when Scholtz took four points to the rim, followed by sophomore guard Jalynne Li, putting South Pas in the lead with a layup to close out the first quarter 13-12.
With the second quarter in motion, the girls were still trying to hit their mark until Kafkaloff got off a corner three pointer and senior point guard Elise Takahama snuck up behind the defense for an easy two points. Both teams went back and forth on the board, with Wildcat point guard Lan taking a downtown three pointer to finish the first half. Now down eight points, Monrovia began to lose their home court advantage, with South Pas up 32-26 going into the third quarter.
The Tigers came out the second half when Kafkaloff shot a quick layup. Right in the next possession, the crowd erupted when Scholtz took a two point layup down the entire court. From there, the girls pushed the tempo and left Monrovia to take only one point by junior guard Melody Sanchez the entire third quarter. Up by 30 points, South Pas finished the day with a 76-35 landslide win.
“We had to adjust not having a big center presence so we had to make some changes and have everyone come in for rebounds of defense,” Scholtz said. “The first half was slow, but once we got into the second half we started playing our game of basketball.”
Guards Scholtz and Kafkaloff left the court with 26 and 25 points on the board, respectively, followed by Takahama scoring 15 points, senior guard Natalie Song and sophomore Li taking four points and senior guard Taryn Kato with two points.
The girls next event will be at home against San Marino High School on Wednesday January 28 at 5:15 p.m. The previous matchups between both teams led to South Pas claiming two victories over San Marino.