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Lancers boys' basketball team holds off Spartans

Basketball: La Salle boys build big lead but have to fight to get a victory against La Canada.

January 19, 2013|By Nathan Cambridge

PASADENA — Both the La Salle High and La Cañada boys basketball teams had the right to be tired as they matched up in a nonleague contest Saturday night with both squads coming off league victories Friday night. In addition, both squads were playing their third game in four nights.

However, in the first half it was obvious the host Lancers were ready to go as they doubled up the Spartans after one quarter and led by 19 at half.

"We knew coming into this game that [La Canada] was going to be a good physical team that played the whole game," Lancers Israel Lacy said. "So we knew we had to step it up even more if we were going to get this win."

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Then, in the second half, it became evident that the Spartans had plenty left in the tank as they closed to within seven in the final minute before falling, 60-51, despite winning the second half by 11 points.

"You know, [La Salle] is a good team," La Cañada Coach Tom Hofman said, "They kicked our butts in the first half and we beat them in the second half, so I was proud of them. We got a lot out of this game. I think we showed ourselves we can stay with some really good talent."

La Salle (10-7) led, 37-18, at halftime thanks in no small part to Vance Jackson, who poured in 22 of his game-high 31 points in the first two quarters. The 6-foot-7 freshman outscored the Spartans in the first quarter, 10-9, with his teammates adding another eight points to lead, 18-7.

Jackson had two of his seven three-point baskets in the first quarter and added four more in the second quarter.

"That's just what I do," Jackson said of his long-distance scoring output, "I practice that every day."

Jackson finished with the 31 points, a team-high eight rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist. The freshman's 12 points in the second were once again more than La Cañada, which only scored nine.

At the half it was a 19-point game, with Jackson outpacing the Spartans, 22-18.

"He's still learning," Lacy said of Jackson, "but for him to be as good as he is, and productive as he is, it is really a joy to have him."

The second half was a different story, as La Cañada (11-9) came out energized taking it to the Lancers on both ends of the floor opening up on a 10-2 run. Jackson then scored the next five points to keep the advantage in double digits, but the Spartans kept at it, cutting the lead to 14 after three.

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