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Hill steps down as La Cañada High girls' basketball coach after 14 years

Basketball: Veteran calls it a career after posting 264-131 record and winning eight league titles.

March 28, 2014|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
  • La Cañada High girls' basketball coach Tamar Hill announced her resignation after 14 years on Friday afternoon. Hill compiled a 264-131 record (67% winning percentage), won eight Rio Hondo League titles and advanced to the postseason every year throughout her tenure. (Tim Berger/File Photo)
La Cañada High girls' basketball coach…

A 14-year coaching career that included more than 200 victories and eight league titles concluded Friday afternoon when La Cañada High girls’ basketball coach Tamar Hill announced to her team that she is stepping away from a program she built into an area power.

“It’s emotional because you have to look into the eyes of your team and tell them you’re not coming back,” Hill said. “But, honestly, I just need a break.

“This was a great season to end my career as far as accomplishments go. There’s really a great nucleus of girls coming back. I would have felt bad if I had left and there was nobody coming back, but that’s not the case.”

Hill took over for Dennis Ballard before the 2000-01 season and compiled a 264-131 record (67% winning percentage), won eight Rio Hondo League titles and advanced to the postseason every year throughout her tenure.

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“She had a great run in the playoffs and she’s not leaving the cupboard empty,” La Cañada High Athletic Director Craig Franzen said. “It’s a long haul from spring until the end of the season. Then you go through spring ball and then you have to decide if you play fall ball or not.

“It’s a long grind for any basketball coach and lot of tough decisions between spending time with your team or family. I’m happy for Tamar because she feels good about her decision and left at a good time.”

This past season was potentially the best during the Hill era.

La Cañada finished 24-7, which tied the 2009-10 squad for most victories during her run (24-4), while the Spartans claimed a league title and advanced to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section playoffs, where the they fell March 1 to eventual Division III-A champion Santa Margarita, 69-57.

Hill’s squad rebounded from the defeat and recorded a victory in the CIF State Division III Tournament, handing Eagle Rock its lone home defeat of the season, 52-49, in the first round March 12.

The Spartans’ season and Hill’s career ended March 15 in a 55-43 second-round defeat at Santa Barbara.

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