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La Cañada High boys' basketball shoots down Monrovia

Basketball: Spartans improve to 2-0 in league with 66-55 win on Friday.

January 17, 2014|By Nathan Cambridge, Special to the Valley Sun

LA CAÑADA —Both teams came off wins in their respective Rio Hondo League boys’ basketball openers, as Monrovia High came to La Cañada High.

Through the first three quarters, La Cañada controlled the action and then weathered a ragged final period before winning, 66-55, over the Wildcats, who never went away but could never quite pull close enough to put the eventual result in question.

“I think we played a good 24 minutes and then a real sloppy, bad eight minutes,” La Cañada Coach Tom Hofman said. “We’re young and we do things at the end of games. We have the chance to put games away and we just don’t seem to be able to do that right now.”

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The victory keeps the Spartans (12-5, 2-0), ranked No. 5 in the most recent CIF Southern Section Division III-A rankings, in control of their quest to win the 22nd Rio Hondo crown in Hofman’s 28-year tenure at the school after finishing second last season. It was also Hofman victory No. 602 and pushes the his Rio Hondo record to 239-33.

“It was a good win overall; we just need to work on a few things,” La Cañada’s Ko Ko Kurdoghian said. “This win kind of lets us know that we’re one of the better teams in the league.”

The Spartans (12-5, 2-0), who held a nine-point lead after the first quarter and held that advantage at halftime, blew open the game after the break. The third quarter started with a 10-0 run by La Cañada with Kurdoghian getting it started with two straight assists coming off ball movement, first to fellow sophomore starter Grant Arthur and next to a trailing Jacob Brown, who drained a three-pointer. Arthur followed with a three of his own before Kurdoghian finished the burst with an offensive rebound and putback.

The lead peaked at 21 points near the midpoint of the third when Kyle Thomas connected on a shot from long range off another Kurdoghian assist to make the score 50-29. After that, things started to go the way of the Wildcats.

“When we got that 20-point lead we just stopped playing and settled for wild shots,” Hofman said.

Kurdoghian led the Spartans with 16 points, which included 10 of his team’s 25 first-quarter points. The sophomore also had nine rebounds and four assists.

“In the first half we were good,” Kurdoghian said, “looking for the extra pass, better shots whenever we had it ... the second half we kind of fell off.”

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