tallying 34 boards -- including 15 on the offensive end -- compared
to Lake Forest El Toro's 23.
La Canada 12 12 15 18 -- 57
El Toro 10 8 12 9 -- 39
K. Hurlbutt 19, 6 assists and 4 steals, Futalan 12, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks, Beattie 9 and 8 rebounds, Smith 9, Kawakami 8. * Three-pointers: K. Hurlbutt 5, Kawakami 2, Smith 2.
Smith 11, Doherty 8, Armas 6, S. Monsato 4, T. Monsato 4, Pascual 2, Pettigrew 2, Whittle 2. * Three-pointers: Smith.
And Tamar Hill's players gave their coach plenty to smile about
after one of their most balanced efforts of the season, with five
players tallying eight-or-more points, led by all-tournament honoree
Kasey Hurlbutt's game-high 19, including 14 in the second half.
After 32 minutes, all of the Spartans' holiday spirit added up to
them giving the Chargers their fourth loss in nine outings with a
57-39 win at El Monte Arroyo High.
"When you beat good teams, it can't help but make you feel
confident," said Hill, whose squad (7-3) relied on a 16-4 first-half
run to build a six-point halftime lead, and put El Toro away with a
13-point surge to open the fourth quarter.
"I'm proud of all of them for stepping up."
Especially after a tough 20-point setback in Saturday's semifinal
game to Capistrano Valley (5-3), in which Hurlbutt, Diahnn Futalan
and Sarah Beattie combined for 31 of the team's 37 points.
But Hill didn't have to worry about a lack of balance Monday, as
Kelcie Kawakami had eight points, Beattie -- who added eight
rebounds, three assists and two blocks -- and all-tournament
selection Krissy Smith contributed nine each, and Futalan tallied 12
points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
And although she only had five players score, Hill received plenty
of contributions that didn't show up in the box score, especially
from Jennifer Clary on defense, and Rachel Hofman and Mary Kate
Hurlbutt distributing the ball on offense.
"It's amazing what happens when you make shots," said Hill, whose
squad built its lead to 52-30 after Kawakami and Kasey Hurlbutt --
who added six assists, five rebounds and four steals -- combined for
three of the team's nine three-pointers in the first 2:36 of the
"Everybody was being patient, nobody was trying to force and we
did a great job of working the clock.
"We played with more maturity, and when the bench helps the way
they did, the game becomes much easier to play."
And it showed, as the Spartans put forth one of their best
defensive efforts of the season, forcing 15 turnovers.
La Canada returns to action against L.A. Immaculate Heart at 2
p.m. Friday in the Bellarmine-Jefferson Christmas Classic.