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La Cañada High basketball's Tom Hofman joins 600 club

Basketball: Veteran La Cañada High boys' basketball Coach Tom Hofman picks up his 600th career win in Spartans victory.

January 10, 2014|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
  • La Cañada High boys' basketball Coach Tom Hofman is all smiles after winning his 600th game in a nonleague boys basketball game against La Salle at La Cañada on Friday. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
La Cañada High boys' basketball Coach Tom…

LA CAÑADA — Over the course of 28 years, La Cañada High boys’ basketball Coach Tom Hofman has certainly enjoyed his share of success.

Perhaps it was fitting then that on an evening in which the Spartans’ leader had an opportunity to lock down his 600th career victory, his team would pass effectively, shoot wisely and defend tenaciously, all tenets of a Tom Hofman team throughout the decades, in a 73-62 victory over visiting La Salle in the nonleague finale Friday evening.

“To be honest, it’s always been about the kids, the team,” Hofman said. “I’ve never really enjoyed this type of attention and I’m relieved it’s over. It has been special, though.”

PHOTOS: La Canada boys basketball coach Tom Hofman wins 600th game

Hofman was presented a pair of plaques after the game in commemoration of the victory and in celebration of career that includes a 600-186 record, a 237-33 mark within the Rio Hondo League, 21 league titles, four CIF Southern Section divisional championship game appearances, two divisional crowns and two runner-up finishes at the CIF State Division III Regional Tournament.

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“It does sound kind of corny, but Tom has always said it’s not about him, he doesn’t like the limelight. He wants his team do well and that’s what he always been about,” Spartans athletic director Craig Franzen said. “This is really family. I know that’s what everyone says family, family, but that’s the case with Tom. This is as big for him as it is for the school.”

Hofman’s Spartans concluded the nonleague portion of the season with a 10-5 mark and will begin pursuit for league title No. 22 as Rio Hondo League play opens Wednesday with a home game versus South Pasadena at 7 p.m.

“I had an idea that I needed somewhere around 10 wins this season to get to 600, but I really wasn’t sure and we didn’t talk about it [until recently],” Hofman said.

As for the game, it appeared the Spartans were in a no-contest, as they hit 10 of 20 three-point attempts in the first half in racing out to a 45-29 advantage.

GAME PHOTOS: La Cañada vs. La Salle boys basketball

The first quarter proved particularly damaging to La Salle (5-11), which wasn’t exactly in a celebratory mood.

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