opponent with a 17-point run in the first 4:42, and extending its
dominance of the Alumni for more than six minutes before allowing a
Although the 23-member Alumni squad fought back to close the
deficit to four late in the second quarter and six on two occasions
in the second half, when the La Canada varsity wanted to turn it on,
it did, resulting in an 85-77 victory in a game that was played over
five quarter to accommodate for extra playing time for both sides.
"This is going to be a spurty team," said Hofman, whose squad led,
21-9, at the end of the first quarter and, 54-36, after three.
"Right now, the returning players are really stepping up, and guys
like Umar [Khan], Phillip [Anderson] and Ryan [Cosgrove] are all
So it came as no surprise to Hofman -- who is entering his 18th
season -- that the aforementioned trio led the way, as Anderson had
18 points (seven in the first quarter, nine in the fifth), Cosgrove
tallied 14 (including three three-pointers) and Khan contributed 12
(nine in the third quarter).
But one of the biggest assets thus far for the varsity squad has
been the performance of sophomore Rhett Anderson, who had eight
"A real pleasant surprise is where Rhett is at right now," said
Hofman, whose squad won its fourth straight against the Alumni since
losing, 89-70, in 1999.
"The one thing he can do pretty well is rebound, and he's made
pretty good strides so far [with the rest of his game] ."
One of the few areas that had Hofman concerned was his squad
allowing the Alumni -- which was led by Chris Evelyn (nine points),
Matt Cheney, Jeff Riddell and Andrew Scott (eight points apiece) --
to make a few runs of its own, closing the gap to 64-58 late in the
"Our defense needs to get better, but a lot of that just depends
on our intensity level," said Hofman, who also received seven points
from Craig Ballard, who competed against older brothers Brent and
Tim, along with stepbrother Todd Reynolds.
"When we're playing at a high level, we can play with almost
La Canada girls' varsity 53, Spartan Alumni 35: Tamar Hill's squad
-- which defeated Saugus in Tuesday's scrimmage -- rode the
performances of Sarah Beattie, Diahnn Futalan and Kasey Hurlbutt to
offset a strong effort by Alumni member Kim Gilmour in Wednesday
night's game, which preceded the boys' contest.
The Spartan varsity opens its season Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
against North Hollywood in a pool-play game of the third annual Lady
Falcon Tip-Off Classic at Crescenta Valley High.