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Wednesday, February 9, 2011
LA North: La Canada 73, Monrovia 35

By Tim Haddock



La Canada boys' basketball coach Tom Hofman calls the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA field the deepest he has seen in years. As the Rio Hondo League comes to a close this week and teams jockey for position in the playoffs, La Canada is No. 4 behind top-ranked Price, No. 2 Palm Springs and third-ranked Corona del Mar.

La Canada won its third game in a row, and its 10th in the last 11 games, on Tuesday night. With a 73-35 win over Monrovia, La Canada (22-3) improved to 9-0 in Rio Hondo League play.

Monrovia produced the most points against La Canada in the past three games. La Canada has held its past three league opponents to an average of 31.6 points per game. The Spartans have won those three games by an average of 37.6 points.

It’s hard to decide which statistic is more impressive.

Hofman said this is one of his best teams in his 25 years of coaching at La Canada. That includes a team that was the runner-up in the Southern Section Division 3-AA playoffs in 2007 and advanced to the CIF state tournament.

As well as the La Canada boys have played in recent weeks, Hofman says he is a little worried about stretches of inconsistency his team has exhibited throughout the season. He is also in search of a fifth scoring option before playoffs start next week.

In the game against Monrovia, La Canada demonstrated how tough it can be on defense and how it can let other teams slip back into games.

La Canada jumped out to a 15-2 first-quarter lead against Monrovia. The Spartans held Monrovia without a field goal in the first quarter. The Wildcats were 0-for-12 from the field and scored its only two points on free throws.

But in the second quarter, La Canada eased up. Jay Henderson scored Monrovia’s first basket from the field with 5:01 to play in the quarter and helped cut the La Canada lead to nine points, 24-15, with 42.8 seconds left before halftime.

Michael McGlashan scored nine points in the first half and La Canada led 26-16 at halftime.

La Canada blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring Monrovia, 28-9. The Spartans held Monrovia scoreless for the first five minutes of the third quarter and were up by 29 points, 54-25, at the end of the quarter.

Three minutes into the fourth quarter, La Canada was up by 34 points, 61-27, and the game ended with a running clock.

McGlasham led La Canada with 21 points and Matt Faber had 13 points and 18 rebounds.