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Spartans still perfect

Boys' golf: La Cañada gets win to improve to 16-0 with three matches left.

April 21, 2011|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

The La Cañada High boys' golf team is looking to copy what the girls' golf team did just a few months ago when they went undefeated in the regular season.

Boys' Coach Richard Tetu said he wasn't expecting to go undefeated at the beginning of the season. However, now the Spartans have a good chance of doing just that, sitting at 16-0 (5-0 in the Rio Hondo League) with three games left in the season.

"[The team] seems to really want to get through the schedule undefeated," Tetu said. "You never know in this game; I've only had one undefeated season before. You never know, but in terms of talent, we should run the table."

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The Spartans kept up their dominance of the Rio Hondo League on Tuesday, defeating South Pasadena 192-214. It was a home match for the Tigers (6-8, 2-5), as both teams hit the links at Almansor Golf Course in Alhambra. Daniel Rhee led La Cañada, shooting a 37 on the day. The rest of the team wasn't far behind, as all the Spartans shot under 40.

That's been the secret to La Cañada's success this year, the amount of talent on the roster — the most Tetu says he's had since 2006.

"We have a lot more depth than any other team in the league. Jay Lim is easily the best player in the league, but I have quite a few kids who can all break 80," Tetu said.

There's so much depth that Tetu sat out Lim on Tuesday to give him a break and let other players gain some experience.

Tetu says he's probably rotated about 12 kids into varsity matches this year, when he usually shuffles around six or seven. The team is so deep, in fact, that Tetu said he hasn't decided on his lineup for the CIF Southern Section playoffs yet.

Lim has definitely been the star this season. He's been the Spartans' statistical leader all year with a scoring average of 35.3 in his last three matches.

"He manages the course well and rarely gets in trouble and kind of has an old-school golf swing. He hits the ball low, which helps the ball stay in the fairway and he's very consistent," Tetu said.

Noah Bernstein has also helped carry La Cañada to victory recently, posting the second-lowest score for the Spartans in the past three matches, notching a 38.3 scoring average during that span.

Rhee, Joshua Suh and Derek Patao have also been instrumental in La Cañada's success this season, Tetu said.

Over the past few years, La Cañada hasn't faired well as a team in the CIF playoffs, failing to advance out of the CIF Regional Tournament. Teams need to have at least six players who can shoot in the mid-70s or better, something La Cañada hasn't had in the past few years, Tetu said.

"California is a hotbed for golf and it's tough to get out of the Regional," Tetu said. "We have a chance to do it this year."

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