La Canada High.
La Canada (1-0) -- which went a disappointing 13-15 last season and
lost in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division IIIAA
playoffs -- had four players score in double figures.
"This is the most balanced team we have had since 1992," said La
Canada Coach Tom Hofman, referring to the only CIF championship team he
has coached in his 15-year tenure.
"Everybody in the lineup has a chance to score in double digits."
The exlamation point was put on the contest in the fourth quarter with
less than two minutes remaining. With La Canada ahead, 75-70, center Greg
Gaudino was fouled as he attempted a shot under the basket by Highland
guard Idel Dawson.
Gaudino made the shot and added the free throw as the Spartans took a
commading eight-point lead. The junior finished with 16 points and a
game-high 11 rebounds.
La Canada shot 31 for 61 (50.8%) from the field, compared to the
Bulldogs 24 for 63 (38.1%).
Spartan junior guard Joel Kim had a team-high 17 points.
"We really have a lot of depth," Hofman said. "We beat a very good
Hofman is using the preseason to work on the Spartans' problems before
they start Rio Hondo League play in January.
"We saw some things we can improve on," Hofman said. "Defensively we
should be a lot better."
The Spartans never trailed after they fell behind, 13-12, early in the first quarter.
Highland senior point guard Gabriel Stevenson had a game-high 22
points and five steals.
Highland 17 19 13 23 -- 72
La Canada 20 21 18 24 -- 83
Highland -- G. Stevenson 22, Realzola 16, M. Stevenson 11, Dawson 8,
Hargrove 6, Younan 4, Peevy 3, Jones 2.
Three-pointers: G. Stevenson 3. Realzola 2. Dawson.
La Canada -- Kim 17. Gaudino 16. Ballard 14. Neyland 10. Moore 9.
Swenson 6. Wang 5. Hofman 4. Turley 2.
Three-pointers: Kim 3. Ballard 2.