It came down to a missed shot in the closing seconds by South Pasadena High Friday night as host Valley View held on for a 74-73 win over the Tigers in second round CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA boys’ basketball action.
“Although South Pasadena faced a defeat, their effort was praiseworthy,” noted CB Richards, the Tigers’ athletic director, when it was all over. “They exhibited resilience and battled fiercely until the final moments, as reflected in the narrow score margin.”
With the loss, the Tigers, after winning their first Rio Hondo League boys’ basketball title outright in 30 years and a first round CIF matchup over Sunny Hills 72-41, saw their season come to an end with the setback.
SPHS finished with an impressive 23-7 overall record and plenty of admiration in the end. “South Pasadena High boys basketball demonstrated their competitiveness and skill in this close playoff game,” said Richards. “Although the outcome was not in their favor, they have shown their ability to compete at a high level.”
Valley View held a four-point lead, 21-17, after the first quarter. The game was tied 32-32 at the half and South Pasadena clung to 52-50 advantage after three quarters. Moreno Valley then outscored the Tigers 24-21 in the final period to win it. As the clock ticked down South Pasadena held a 73-72 lead before the Eagles managed to put up the deciding points.
A tearful finish for some playing their last basketball game in a South Pasadena High uniform, Richards added, “Let’s continue to support and cheer for the seniors that will be looking to continue playing in college and continuing their basketball careers.”
In a significant milestone, both Tigers’ boys and girls’ basketball programs won the Rio Hondo League crown in the same season, combining for an overall 19-1 mark.