A tough but winnable Rio Hondo League game … not won.
A winnable non-league game … won.
The South Pas High Tigers boys basketball team batted .500 this past week, with some of their recurring problems … well, recurring.
The Tigers lost 48-36 to Rio Hondo foe La Cañada on Friday but rebounded with a 62-38 romp over Bellflower on Monday — moving their overall record to 13-4 and 1-1 in the league.
La Cañada — a Division 2-AA team — represented a distinct step up in weight class for the Division 4-A Tigers, and they battled before finally falling.
South Pas started slowly against the Spartans, then went on a 6-0 run midway through the first quarter to stay within four points at the end of the period. Despite playing solid defense in the second quarter, the Tigers couldn’t get enough stops to keep a lead. They outscored the Spartans in the second quarter but were down two points at halftime.
One of the biggest problems for South Pas has been turnovers, and the team had seven at halftime. In order to beat their Division 2-AA league opponent, which was very much possible, the Tigers also had to make their shots. But they were just 6-for-18 from the field at halftime.
As the third quarter went on, La Cañada’s lead increased by the minute and the game got out of reach for the Tigers. The Spartans outscored South Pas 19-8 in the third and had a 13-point lead going into the final quarter.
Tigers head coach Ernest Baskerville said the team has suffered at least one bad quarter in each game so far — and this game was no exception.
“We have those blank quarters — that third quarter killed us,’’ he said. “Overall, we shot 5-for-21 from three. They were open shots.
“We have to make shots. But we defended well. They hit some tough shots, and a lot of things they hit weren’t in their main offensive set. A lot of stuff was, we missed stuff back door and they got an offensive board and put stuff back.”
The Tigers continued to battle, but La Cañada was not giving up the lead.
Senior guard Billy Reed finished with 15 points and senior forward Alan Quan added eight points. Reed shot 6-for-10 in the game and did what he could to help his team win.
“As the game went on, especially in the last two minutes, if we would’ve played that way throughout the whole game, I think we could’ve easily won that,” Reed said. “I know defensively, they took me out of the game a little bit, but I think we did a good job of moving the ball around in the second half and getting shooters open. We just missed shots that we usually make.”
Against Bellflower (2-14), Reed scored 23 points and added seven rebounds, while Amar Ebrahim added 10 points.
The Tigers hosted Temple City on Wednesday before traveling to Monrovia for a battle on Friday night.