HomeBlocksFront-GridSeason Comes to an End for La Cañada Girls’ Basketball

Season Comes to an End for La Cañada Girls’ Basketball

Mechanical problems forced the La Cañada girls’ basketball team needed to be patient at the start of their CIF Southern Section Division III-AA playoff journey.

In the Spartans’ home opener against Santa Clarita Valencia, the Vikings arrived 15 minutes late because of bussing issues.

Both teams’ defenses ruled the second half, but Valencia did enough early and late to come away with a 47-27 win over host La Cañada on Feb. 8, bringing an end to the Spartans’ season.
“I know how hard [my players] work, and how much time they put in, and to see them go out like this is tough,” La Cañada coach Jonathan Saavedra said. “This was a tough game for us tonight. [Valencia] did a really good job defensively.”
Valencia, the No. 4 entry from the Foothill League, held La Cañada, the Rio Hondo League runner-up, to eight points after halftime, including allowing just one field goal in each of the final two quarters.

The Vikings had arrived just 15 minutes before the scheduled tipoff time after their bus suffered a flat tire on the 210 Freeway near La Tuna Canyon, forcing them to wait roadside for a mechanic and, eventually, a new bus. The game was delayed so the visitors could warm up before starting in earnest.
“This is some of the best defense we’ve played, so maybe getting stuck on the bus with a flat tire made us more focused, I don’t really know,” Valencia coach Jared Honig said. “But I’m proud of the girls for their defensive effort, their hustle and just their overall awareness of what we were trying to do today.”
Valencia (13-16 overall) held an 11-point advantage after the first half, leading into a second half where both offenses would dry up under the umbrella of the opposition’s defense.
The Vikings scored the first five points in the third, with Cara McKell, a sophomore who would lead Valencia with 20 points, making two free throws with 5:57 left after the visitors had hit a 3-pointer earlier. Under pressure from the La Cañada defense, the Vikings would be held scoreless for the next 9:29 off the game clock, spanning well into the final period.
“We played really tough defense,” Saavedra said. “[We] battle consistently. I’m proud of how hard [my players] worked. [We] take pride in our defense, and that team has some really good offensive players.”
However, the Spartans, who had to fight against the physical play and relentless Viking defense throughout, would manage just six points in that same span.
Near the halfway point of the third quarter, Spartan sophomore Emma Sengul drained a 3-pointer for the hosts’ only points of the frame. Neither team scored the rest of the way and Valencia held a 35-13 advantage heading into the fourth.
Early in the final period, La Cañada freshman Violet Waugh was fouled going to the rim and made one of two free throws. The next points of the contest came with 5:16 to go, when Sengul was fouled on the baseline and made both her free throws to cut it to a 10-point game. After that, Valencia scored all of its points in the fourth in a 12-0 run, of which McKell had seven. In the final minute, La Cañada scored the final points of the contest on a short shot from the right side by Malia Harney, the hosts’ first field goal since Sengul’s 3-pointer in the third.
Sengul, coming off the bench, led La Cañada in scoring with seven points. Jennifer Musso, who sang the national anthem as part of the chamber choir, tallied six points. Madison Hunt had four points, while Sydney Magtoto and Isabella Chividjian had three apiece. Harney had two, and Waugh and Ella Magtoto had one apiece.
Valencia scored the first five points of the contest as part of a 12-2 run to open the game. Hunt scored the first points for La Cañada off an assist by Musso. In the later stages, the Vikings went on a 7-0 run before Ella Magtoto hit a free throw to make it 19-7 going into the second period. McKell had eight points in the first.
La Cañada battled back in the second quarter, outscoring the Vikings 12-11. The Spartans scored the first five points of the frame via a one-handed shot in the lane by Musso and a three-pointer by Syndney Magtoto, assisted by Musso. The final points of the half came in the final minute when Chividjian drained a three from the corner, off an assist by Musso, to set the margin of 30-19 at the break.
The loss brings La Cañada’s season to a conclusion, marking the last game as a Spartan for Talia Miyamoto, Andrianna Pitsos and Chividjian, the latter of whom was the only one able to play against the Vikings.
“I’ve met some of my best friends throughout the program, and not only did I enjoy playing basketball, but I just enjoyed it for the people I was playing with,” Chividjian said.


The Flintridge Prep varsity girls basketball team includes Miya Naruko front from left Hailey Louie Izzie Chan Pressley Huie Addison Lee and Caydence Acker Back Kassidy Huie Maddie Smith Megan Quoch Akemi Fu Olivia Childs Gigi Mastras and Catherine Baldocchi

The Wolves lost to visiting South Pasadena 48-33 in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division IIAA playoffs on Feb. 10 as sophomore Maddie Smith poured in 18 points with five rebounds.

Freshman Addison Lee recorded five points, sophomore Pressley Huie scored four points and freshman Hailey Louie chipped in three points. Junior Olivia Childs finished with eight rebounds and two points, while sophomore Akemi Fu registered six rebounds and one point.

The Wolves defeated visiting Calabasas in overtime 68-61 in their CIF opener on Feb. 8 as Smith amassed 33 points.

Fu poured in 13 points with eight rebounds, while Huie scored 10 points. Freshman Megan Quoch tallied seven rebounds and four points, while Childs contributed six rebounds and two points. Lee scored three points, freshman Miya Naruko chipped in two points and Louie had one point.

Flintridge Prep finished the campaign as Prep League champions with a 12-0 record (25-2 overall).

— Sebastian Moore contributed to this report.

First published in the February 15 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


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