LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE - Before his team's game against Bonita High, La Cañada High basketball Coach Tom Hofman said it would come down to who made shots.
While that may qualify as typical coach-speak, as it turns out, Hofman wasn't kidding.
The Spartans had trouble hitting shots and defending the perimeter as they fell to Bonita, 50-24, at home on Saturday. With the victory, Bonita placed third in the La Canada Holiday Classic.
“We were awful,” Hofman said.
La Canada (5-3) started the game cold and never warmed up. The Spartans only connected on eight shots from the field for the contest and they didn't score a point in the fourth quarter. The Bearcats on the other hand were on fire, connecting on 10 three-pointers. Bonita's David Neff led the way with six shots from long range.
“They got too many open looks,” Hofman said.
Bonita boasted an 11-4 advantage after one period, and extended that to 14-4 after a Neff three to start the second quarter. The Spartans clawed back and, following back-to-back three-pointers from Brendan Hempstead, pulled to within 16-12.
That would be as good as it got for the home team.
Bonita (5-3) closed out the first half on a 10-4 run for a 26-16 lead at the break. That spread grew to 44-24 after the end of the third and following a scoreless fourth for the Spartans, the Bearcats went home with the 50-24 victory.
“Everything,” said La Canada senior Jack Anderson when asked what went wrong against Bonita. “We couldn't make shots, we couldn't play defense. They got every loose ball. Everyone played terrible.”
Bonita's Neff led all scorers with 18 points and teammate Kyle Grey added 12 points.
Hofman said that the team needs more confidence to get its offense started and should run a little more. Anderson concurred with the latter, and added that his team needs to work harder in practice.
Saturday's lopsided results aside, La Canada had a pair of good wins at its home tournament, which it finished with a 2-2 record.
But a .500 record doesn't satisfy Anderson.
“I'm not happy with 2-2,” Anderson said. “I don't think anyone should be. I'm not happy unless we're 4-0.”