The Spartans (9-5) saw their bid to win the tournament for a
second consecutive year thwarted by a patient Whittier squad, which
received a game-high 34 points and 10 rebounds from Michael
Hernandez, who was named the tournament's most valuable player.
"We took some quick shots in the first quarter," Hofman said. "We
could have been more patient and we weren't. We didn't handle
Whittier's intensity and they got us in an up-tempo game.
"We hadn't seen that and we were out of rhythm. [Whittier] did a
nice job setting up Hernandez and we knew about him."
Hernandez and Whittier (11-3) dissected La Canada's offense.
Whittier held La Canada shooting guard Billy Hofman to three field
goals and forced the Spartans to take long-distance shots. When the
Spartans failed to convert on their opportunities, Whittier countered
with Hernandez to help build its lead before holding off a late La
Canada surge in the second half.
The Spartans, who played in the tournament's title game for a
third consecutive season, received 11 points from Andrew Scott and
nine from Matt Stoner. Stoner and Hofman, who finished with 16
points, were named to the all-tournament team.
"We did a little better job offensively in the second half,"
Hofman said. "We'll take a couple of days off, and come back to
practice Thursday. I know that we'll look to get the kinks out of our
A Hofman layup cut Whittier's lead to 42-40 with about four
minutes left in the fourth quarter. Scott and Stoner each made three