YOU ARE HERE: La Cañada HomeCollectionsGym

La Canada girls' basketball gets some revenge, league title against South Pasadena

La Canada Spartans bring balance, defensive pressure into Rio Hondo League showdown with South Pasadena Tigers Thursday.

February 07, 2013|By Andrew Shortall,

SOUTH PASADENA — Determined to learn from its mistakes, the La Canada High girls' basketball team reminded itself of them coming into Thursday's Rio Hondo League showdown at South Pasadena High.

The Spartans did that by watching their painful 25-point loss to the Tigers on Jan. 23 before Thursday’s night game, which would decide the league champion.

“The girls said they were just fired up last night and knew what they had to do,” said La Cañada Coach Tamar Hill, whose team held off the home team for a 43-34 victory to win the league title. “I told them before the game the pressure's really on [the Tigers]. They won last time and we can just waltz into their gym and do what we do.”


South Pasadena started slow but came on late and cut into what was a 29-17 deficit early in the third quarter with a 13-4 run that stretched from the third into the fourth quarter.

Clinging to a 33-30 advantage with 2:28 to play, Hill called a timeout and drew up a pick-and-roll for La Cañada’s Courtney Chen, leaving her with a choice between a shot or a pass. Chen came off a pick from Lauren Barsamian, up-faked a three-pointer that drew the attention of three South Pas defenders and hit a rolling Barsamian with a pass for the basket.

“The key was Courtney made a good decision there, she made a great decision,” said Hill of her point guard, who finished with 19 points and five rebounds. “Earlier, she was just trying to force it a little bit too much. We told her to calm down and let the play develop and she did. That's why she's the player that she is, she makes adjustments on the fly.”

It gave the Spartans (18-8, 9-1 in league) a 5-0 lead and they never looked back on the way to the win and league title.

“I was ready for it, I knew I had to put it in with all the screaming — last quarter, last minutes of the game,” said Barsamian, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds. “I’ve been playing in this gym for so long, I wanted to leave here feeling good.”

Following Barsamian’s bucket, South Pasadena shot a trio of three-point attempts on its next two possessions. All three were off the mark with the last being rebounded by La Cañada’s Aundrea Issakhanian, who was quickly fouled.

La Canada Valley Sun Articles La Canada Valley Sun Articles