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Tigers Topple Titans to Stay Undefeated in League

By Nathan Cambridge
The Review

The South Pasadena High girls’ basketball team has been making a habit of steamrolling their opponents in Rio Hondo League play so far this season, including San Marino in the rivals’ first matchup of the season on the Tigers’ home court.
But the Titans, this time playing host, had a chance to reverse the trend. However, that chance dissipated early in the rematch.
Against the visiting Tigers, San Marino struggled at both ends as South Pasadena recorded a dominant 64-22 win in league play on Jan. 19.
South Pasadena, ranked in a tie for No. 9 in CIF Southern Section Division II-AA, remains undefeated at 6-0 in the Rio Hondo League as of Jan. 23, with an average margin of victory of just over 56 points a game.
“It’s a rivalry game, so it’s always good to come into their house and still get a solid win,” said South Pasadena assistant coach Kevin Kohler of the victory. Kohler led the Tigers from the sideline in place of head coach Cody Masden, who was missing due to illness.
South Pasadena was led in scoring by senior Dylan Tse with 23 points, with all points coming in the first three quarters. Tigers junior Kayla Boozer had 16 points, with 14 before halftime. Mia Leach came off the bench and finished with 11 points. Jamie Rain Kim poured in six points, Ava Chang had four points, and Yuzu Harada and Madeline Park scored two apiece.
“We played good pressure defense, and that has kind of been our mantra this season, just applying pressure on ball, and I think we did a good job of that today,” Kohler said.
Against the Titans in the rematch, South Pasadena (19-3 overall as of Jan. 23) scored the first 21 points of the contest, including 10 points from Boozer as the junior established dominance in the paint. San Marino did not get on the board until the final 30 seconds of the opening period thanks to San Marino senior Malia Yu’s layup, which made it 21-2 after the first quarter.
The Tigers then scored the first 11 points of the second quarter before Titans freshman Giuliana Reitzell made a layup with less than two minutes to play in the half. Boozer scored the next four points of the contest before Reitzell scored again from in close range, this time off an assist by San Marino sophomore Angela Li. Tse, who had nine points in the frame, made a 3-pointer as time expired to set the halftime margin of 39-6.
The third quarter opened with a 6-0 run by the Tigers, with all the points coming from Tse, who would end up with nine points in the quarter. Li then hit a baseline jumper off an assist from senior Sophia Papadopulos for the hosts’ first points of the second half. Yu scored the final two points of the third and it was 52-11 going into the final period.
The Tiger lead peaked at 45 points early in the fourth quarter, which was played with a running clock for its majority.
Playing mainly against the South Pasadena reserves, the Titans doubled their point production from the first three quarters combined. In the waning minutes, San Marino senior Chloe Lin made a scoop shot while being fouled. The senior hit the ensuing free throw for the hosts’ final points, a total matching their output in the first matchup. Leach drained a 3-pointer for the Tigers’ final points of the game, giving South Pasadena 64, which was 17 points less than the first encounter between the teams.
“We always know that South Pas is going to be a great challenge for us and, in games like this, we want to focus ourselves and thought we did a really good job of that,” San Marino coach Elizabeth Reuter said. “Our challenge to the girls was just to battle and not give up, and I really felt we didn’t give up.”
San Marino (11-9 overall, 2-4 in league as of Jan. 23) was led in scoring by Reitzell with eight points. Yu had seven, while Lin had five and Li two.

First published in the January 26 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

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