HomePublicationLa CañadaSpartans Lose Back-to-Back Games to South Pas

Spartans Lose Back-to-Back Games to South Pas

First published in the Feb. 3 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

La Cañada High School’s varsity girls’ basketball team suffered two losses in two days to the same opponent — South Pasadena High — as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause havoc in high school sports scheduling, although it certainly has diminished from its earlier impact.
The Spartans’ back-to-back games against the Tigers — believed to be the first such occurrence in LC’s 58-year history — including a 69-47 setback at South Pasadena on Monday, Jan. 31.
Despite junior Mia Oakley-Stilson nearly posting a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds, the Spartans (4-2 league record, 11-5 overall) lost to the Tigers (8-0 in league, 23-1 overall) for the third time since the 2020-21 season.
“Mia definitely left it all out there,” LCHS head coach Jonathan Saavedra said. “She was just laser focused and she was huge for us tonight. For someone her size, [5-foot-4], to get nine boards and hit a bunch of shots for us…she’s a beast and one of our best players.”
LCHS senior Lily Khayat, who finished with six points, seven rebounds and one steal, drained a 3-pointer in the first quarter to tie it 3-3. But South Pasadena responded with a 9-0 scoring run and never relinquished the lead for the rest of the game.
The Spartans trailed 41-26 with just under six minutes remaining in the third quarter when senior Rachel Kim found her groove by scoring the following three LC baskets behind the arc. She added one more 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter and cut the deficit 45-37 while finishing with a team-high 14 points.
“Rachel’s got a great-looking shot and when she shoots on balance and with confidence, she hits it,” Saavedra said. “As a senior, she really stepped up big for us tonight.”
The Tigers exploded in the last quarter and outscored La Cañada 24-10 after Kim’s final 3-pointer.
“South Pas played a great game. Their 3-point shooting was by far the difference in this game,” Saavedra said. “I want to commend our players for going all out tonight but [South Pasadena] was the better team.”

Photos by Sebastian Moore / Outlook Valley Sun
La Cañada sophomore Talia Miyamoto had two rebounds as the Spartans fell to South Pasadena during a Rio Hondo League game, 69-47.

Senior Kylie Sears registered seven points, three blocks and three rebounds, freshman Jennifer Musso added five points, four rebounds and one steal, and senior Morgan Collier scored two points. Sophomore Andrianna Pitsos had six rebounds, while sophomore Talia Miyamoto and senior Hailey Tamara tallied two and one rebounds, respectively.

Twenty-four hours after their first meeting of the season, La Cañada and South Pasadena met on the court again — this time at LCHS on Tuesday evening. It wasn’t a 20-point difference, but the Spartans still fell to the visiting Tigers, dropping La Cañada to third place in the league standings.
It was a much different encounter as the Spartans led 24-18 at halftime while holding South Pasadena to a measly four points in the second quarter. The final quarter was the difference maker as La Cañada was outscored, 15-6.
Kim and Musso scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, while Oakley-Stilson had six points.
The Spartans have three league games left, the two most important coming against Temple City and San Marino on Friday, Feb 4, and Saturday, Feb. 5, respectively. La Cañada will have to win out while Temple City must lose its remaining matchups if the Spartans hope to move up to second in the standings.

Last week, La Cañada won a league matchup at San Marino as Sears and Musso led the Spartans with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Sophomore Isabella Chividjian scored nine points, Kim added seven points, Pitsos, Oakley-Stilson and Khayat recorded four points each, while Miyamoto, senior Caroline Zaren and senior Sunny Wakeman each finished with two points.


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