The South Pasadena High School varsity girls’ basketball team is preparing for the 2023-24 campaign with aspirations of contending for another league title and making a deeper run in the postseason.
“My overall expectations for the season is to compete for a CIF championship and make a state title run,” SPHS head coach Cody Masden said. “We are very confident that we will win [the] Rio Hondo League for the fourth year in a row, of course, that is always our goal.”
With a roster of 13 players, including five seniors, five juniors, and three sophomores, the Tigers boast depth and experience. Masden said the team’s depth is one of its greatest strengths as each player is ready to step up if the occasion arises.
“From top to bottom all of our players are varsity ready,” Masden said. “It will not matter if we get into foul trouble or if a player gets hurt, we will have someone else ready to step up.”
Key production is expected from standouts Dylan Tse and Kayla Boozer, both of whom earned first-team all-league honors last season. Tse averaged an impressive 20.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.2 steals per game, while Boozer averaged a double-double with 14.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.9 blocks per game.
“Last year senior Dylan Tse eclipsed 1,500 high school career points scored. This year by the halfway mark she will have eclipsed 2,000,” Masden said. “This is a tremendous achievement and a testament to her work ethic and the time put in the gym. She truly is one of the best basketball players to ever come out of South Pasadena High School.”
Along with Tse, seniors Jamie Rain Kim and Yuzu Harada will serve as captains. Masden praised the trio for their leadership ability, adding that Harada is the heart and soul of the team. Ava Chang and Natalie Wilson, also seniors, are expected to play pivotal roles off the bench.
“All three of them [Tse, Kim and Harada] are starters for us. And our other seniors will be very impactful coming off of the bench and providing huge minutes for us,” Masden said. “Ava Chang has been balling out this off-season and will look to take on a much-needed sixth-man roll. We have terrific vocal leadership from Natalie Wilson who brings much-needed energy and motivation to our team.”
The Tigers are scheduled to open the regular season by competing in the Valley Christian High Tournament in Cerritos on Nov. 27, and will follow that up with participation in the Providence Winter Classic starting Dec. 5.
First published in the November 17 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.