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Not enough for a Spartans win

Girls' basketball: La Ca¿¿ada shines in fourth quarter, but can't overcome deficit, 38-32.

January 20, 2011|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

The La Cañada High girls' basketball team's record would look a lot more promising if the squad could play every quarter like it has played in the fourth quarter of games this season.

The Spartans won the fourth quarter yet again on Friday against South Pasadena, outscoring its opponent 9-6.

However, a 34-23 deficit heading into the fourth quarter, set up by losing the second and third quarters, 28-14, was too for the Spartans to overcome, as they lost to the Tigers at home, 38-32.

"We always fight hard, and unfortunately we get ourselves into some holes and it's hard to keep climbing out of those holes," La Cañada) Coach Tamar Hill said.

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La Cañada (5-14, 1-2 in league) has won the fourth-quarter war in five of its last seven games, but has only managed to win one of those games. The story usually plays out the same way it did on Friday, with the Spartans often faced with a large deficit heading into the final quarter.

Two long scoring droughts cost La Cañada against South Pasadena. A 15-10 Spartans lead with four minutes to go in the second quarter evaporated as the Tigers (11-5, 3-0) went on a 24-4 run, holding the Spartans to just two field goals in about 10 minutes.

"They were putting on a lot pressure. We couldn't get into the offense and weren't getting good shots," Hill said.

The Tigers were able to spread their offense around a bit better than the Spartans. Kelsey Nakamura did most of South Pasadena's scoring with a soft shooting touch, hitting two three pointers and finishing the game with 14 points. Kelsey Lee chipped in eight points and Katie Nakamura had seven.

Kristene Hossepian continued to carry the Spartans offensively, scoring a game-high 19 points, more than half of her team's 32. Courtney Chen was the only other La Cañada player to score more than one field goal, finishing with five points.

"Kristene did a good job hitting some shots and sparking us, getting us back in the game, but sometimes it's too little too late when you're in a hole like that," Hill said. "They started building confidence and hitting shots and it's hard to come back from that."

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