New-look Spartans take court

Brand new La Cañada High squad looks to write its own story this year coming off CIF success of last season.

November 29, 2011|By Andrew Shortall,

Last season will forever be remembered as one of the best in the history of the La Cañada High boys' basketball program, but Spartans Coach Tom Hofman is focused on this year.

Hofman knows it can be difficult for a team to live up to expectations when its predecessor won a CIF Southern Section Division III-AA championship and reached the CIF State Division III Southern California Regional finals, like La Cañada did last year.

"Obviously, there is a little pressure following that and we have talked about that," said Hofman, who's entering his 26th year coaching La Cañada, and will have five new starters this year. "The starting lineup this year will have four starting seniors. This is their year and they are going to do the best they can. You can't look back at other years."


Hofman just wants his team to focus on what it can control, handle business in Rio Hondo League — the Spartans have won nine of the past 10 league crowns — and take the playoffs one step at a time.

"We are just going to play it game by game," Hofman said. "We are a brand new team. We are really inexperienced, but we are a talented team."

Conner Boyd, a senior center, and Tim Kim, a senior forward, are the two Spartans returning with the most experience, as both played quality minutes off the bench last year.

It's Darrell Dansby, a senior guard who saw limited action last year, who has set himself up to be a marquee player for La Cañada with what he's shown over the summer.

"Darrell Dansby is looking really good this year," Hofman said. "He's got outstanding defense and he's always had that, and his offensive play has really stepped up. He is so athletic and looks like he is going to be outstanding for us this year."

Ryan Lee and Jay Srinivasan, a knock-down shooter, will start at point and shooting guard, respectively, for the Spartans this year. Hofman knows the new-look team will bring a new offensive strategy as well.

"Mikey [McGlashan] could take over late in a game last year," Hofman said of his star guard last year. "It will have to be more balanced this year. Each game, we could have a different leading scorer, depending on what defenses are giving us."

Hofman also expects the Spartans to be solid on defense, as they usually are, especially with defensive stoppers like Kim, Dansby and Boyd, a 6-foot-9 center, guarding the paint.

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