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Spartans on to regional championship

Boys' basketball: La Cañada gets two wins in state playoffs and will take on La Verne Lutheran at USC's Galen Center on Saturday.

March 12, 2011|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

Tom Hofman has seen a lot of things in his two-and-a-half decades coaching the La Cañada High boys’ basketball team, but he’s never seen anything like this.

The Spartans kept their season alive in the CIF State Division III Southern California Regional playoffs last week, defeating Crespi, 43-42, in the second round on March 10. They also defeated Inglewood, 60-50, in the Southern California semifinals Saturday at home.

Hofman gathered his team in the locker room after the game to tell them they’re in the middle of the greatest postseason run he’s ever seen, and everyone has had a hand in it.

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Hearing that is great, but there’s no time to sit back and reflect on that now, said La Cañada’s Mike McGlashan.

“Being in it right now, it’s hard to even have any feelings about it,” said McGlashan, whose team is the top seed. “When we look back on it we will be able to say, ‘Wow, what a run.’ Right now we got to keep playing and keep winning — we have to make it the best ever.”

That run will continue this week. The Spartans will face La Verne Lutheran, the division’s No. 3 seed, at noon Saturday at USC’s Galen Center. A win would put La Cañada into the state-championship game.

McGlashan scored a team-high 18 points and Matt Faber put together another double-double, 13 points and 13 rebounds, against Crespi (24-9), but it was Dario CiVon and Mason Holle who contributed in the clutch.

Both CiVon and Holle entered the fourth quarter scoreless, before hitting a big three-pointer each to will their team to victory. CiVon snapped a 7-0 Crespi run, hitting a three-point bucket with four minutes left in the game, giving his team a 40-37 lead.

Crespi knotted the game up at 40 with 2:31 left and it was Holle's time to shine. He sank a three-pointer with about two minutes left, giving La Cañada (30-3) a 43-40 advantage. It was just Holle’s second shot of the night.

“On this team, when I have open shots I look to knock them down,” said Holle, who plays the role of distributor and defensive stopper on the team. “I do my best to facilitate and get these knock-down shooters the ball. That’s how we’ve been winning all year.”

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