The South Pasadena High School varsity boys’ basketball posted a 93-49 victory at Blair High in Pasadena on Feb. 1 to capture the program’s first outright Rio Hondo League championship since the 1984-85 season.
“The guys went crazy on the bus,” South Pasadena coach Ernest Baskerville said. “We didn’t storm the floor or anything at Blair because we didn’t know what happened. We didn’t know about the final score of the San Marino-La Cañada game. When we got the announcement, the guys went crazy.”
San Marino’s narrow 57-54 victory over La Cañada the same night solidified South Pasadena’s first outright league crown in nearly four decades. The three teams — South Pasadena, San Marino and La Cañada — previously split the league title in the 2021-22 season.
South Pasadena concluded the regular season with a 9-1 league record and an overall mark of 22-6.
The Tigers previously captured an outright league title 39 years ago, ultimately losing to El Monte 43-41 in the CIF Southern Section Division II-A quarterfinals.
“La Cañada has dominated the league for years,” Baskerville said. “It’s great to knock them off as the league champ for once. But the goal is to win a CIF championship because that’s what everyone remembers. I’m not taking anything away from the [league] championship, but the goal is CIF.”
The Tigers are the No. 2-seeded team in the CIF Southern Section Division III-AA playoffs and hosted Sunny Hills High of Fullerton (16-12 overall) in the opener on Feb. 7. The game ended after the Review’s press deadline and will be included in next week’s issue. If victorious, the Tigers would advance to the second round and meet either Palm Desert (23-5 overall) or Valley View High of Moreno Valley (17-11 overall) on Feb. 9.
In the regular-season finale against Blair, senior Derek Peterson racked up 20 points, four steals, two rebounds and one assist, while junior Jack Madison poured in 17 points with two blocks, two steals and two rebounds. Junior Jacob Arias registered 14 points, two rebounds, one steal and one assist, while junior Sebastian Martinez finished with 10 points, eight assists and three steals. Junior Miles Nowe tallied nine points, two steals, two assists and one rebound, while senior Taj Ringer recorded eight points, five rebounds, one block and one assist. Junior Oni Balogun contributed seven points, two rebounds and one block, while junior Kevin Hu chipped in six points, six steals, two assists and one block. Sophomore Kaden Anderson produced four assists, three rebounds, two points and two steals, senior Gavin Faulmino had two rebounds, one steal and one assist, and junior Lucas Miller collected one rebound.
The Tigers defeated visiting Hillcrest Christian High of Thousand Oaks 82-58 in their regular-season finale on on Feb. 2.
Nowe poured in 16 points with four assists, three rebounds and two assists, Arias registered 16 points, four assists, three steals and one rebound, and Peterson tallied 13 points, three assists, two blocks, two steals and two rebounds. Madison contributed 10 points, six rebounds, three assists and one block, Martinez recorded 10 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals, and Balogun finished with 10 points, three steals, two rebounds, one block and one assist. Junior Kevin Hu chipped in three points and one rebound, Ringer produced two points, two assists and one rebound, and Anderson was credited with four rebounds, two points and one assist. Faulmino had two steals, while senior Aren Barles had one block.
First published in the February 9 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.