BURBANK — Coming off successful seasons in which the La Cañada High and Glendale girls’ basketball teams won league championships, there’s opportunity for growth.
The Spartans and Nitros have been busy throughout the summer putting together lineup combinations that will hopefully have them in line to contend for league titles next season.
La Cañada received 12 points from Brooke Yasuda and 11 from Lauren Scoville to register a 48-39 win against Glendale on Wednesday in a summer league game at Burroughs High.
After capturing the Rio Hondo League championship last season, the Spartans saw coach Sarah Beattie resign. Eventually, she was replaced by Owen Keenan, who coached the past two seasons at St. Monica Academy.
“Things have been going well throughout the summer and we just want to have our players be confident,” Keenan said. “We’re definitely young, but this group is very talented.
“We’ve been practicing our shooting everyday at practice and I’ve been impressed with out team since I got here.”
Yasuda, a former All-Area selection and the lone senior on the team, agreed.
“We are young and I’m just trying to take on more of a leadership role,” said Yasuda, a guard who made a three-pointer to give the Spartans a 13-6 lead with 10:20 left in the first half. “There’s always a transition with a new coach, but it’s been great learning a lot. Coach Keenan has got a lot of experience.”
Glendale shared the Pacific League championship last season with Crescenta Valley and Burroughs. It marked the first time this century that the Nitros finished first in league.
While several key players graduated, Glendale coach Tadeh Mardirosian said there are chances for new players to step in and make an impact.
“We have a younger team now and they are all working individually to get better,” Mardirosian said. “Our team has the physicality, size and skill ability to be very good, but we just need to find some more consistency.
“All of the components are there leading up to being consistent. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride for us during the summer in that we haven’t been able to put together three consistent games.”
Glendale closed to within 13-11 on a basket by Melissa Zamora with 4:50 remaining in the first half. La Cañada finished up the first half on a 12-2 run to take a 25-13 halftime lead.
The Spartans began the second half on a 16-10 run to build a 41-23 lead. Yasuda capped the run with a three-pointer from the left side with 9:44 left.