his teammates better.
Now, Hofman can add another dimension to an already impressive
Since teammate and reliable outside threat Umar Khan suffered a
leg injury that will sideline him for four-to-six weeks, Hofman has
had to score more often for the Spartans to be successful, and he
Hofman scored a game-high 21 points and had four assists as La
Canada defeated Encino Crespi, 48-42, on Saturday in the semifinals
of the La Salle/Temple City Holiday Classic at Temple City High.
The Spartans (9-4) will meet Whittier (10-3) -- a 69-62 winner
against Pasadena La Salle in the other semifinal -- at 7:30 tonight
at La Salle in an attempt to defend their tournament title of 2001.
La Canada also advanced to the final in 2000.
When the pressure mounted in an intense and close contest that had
seven lead changes and four ties, La Canada kept its composure, while
With the game tied at 40 and the Celt defense focusing on Hofman,
last year's News-Press All-Area Player of the Year found guard Andrew
Scott near the right corner for an open three-pointer. Scott, who had
missed all four of his shots up to that point, calmly nailed a
three-pointer to give La Canada a 43-40 lead with 1:45 remaining.
"In [nonleague competition], you need these close games to prepare
you for [Rio Hondo] league," Spartan Coach Tom Hofman said.
Crespi cut the lead to one before Hofman -- who has averaged 29.3
points in three tournament games -- scored his final points on an
Trailing by three, the Celts had an opportunity to tie the game,
but got out of their offensive set and forced a wild shot, allowing
Scott to sink one free throw to seal the win.
"I thought we had some big shots at the right time and took them
out of what they wanted to do," Tom Hofman said.
La Canada's Matt Stoner scored eight points, including a pair of
free throws that tied the game at 40 with 2:57 left.
Dino Fekaris led the Celts with 14 points.