Flintridge Sacred Heart picked apart South Pasadena in summer league

SOUTH PASADENA — In a game dominated inside by the South Pasadena High girls' basketball team, the outcome was ultimately clinched by a clutch three-pointer that held off a valiant comeback attempt by Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy.

The Tigers led by double-digits in the second half before the Tologs came within a basket late, only to give up an open three-point basket to South Pasadena's Amber Partida with 1:30 remaining in a 37-31 win for the Tigers in the South Pasadena summer league on Monday.

The pick-and-roll that set up the corner three was the bread-and-butter for the Tigers all game, as the Tologs had trouble stopping it. Partida attempted and hit both of the team's attempts from behind the arc, with the play usually going to Sophia Hathaway inside.

Hathaway led the Tigers with 12 points, with 10 of them coming in the first half. The Tologs adjusted in the second half, which allowed Partida to score eight of her 10 points in the final 20-minute frame.

Sacred Heart first-year Coach Ty Buxman said it's something the team will need to work on with one game left in summer league play.

"We couldn't stop the pick-and-roll," said Buxman who received a team-high 11 points from Casey Johnson. "We didn't go over it. We didn't go under it. We didn't switch really well. We need to figure out how to play that better and once we do, we'll be all right."

Buxman also said his team will need to figure out how to make up for a lack of size. Against the Tigers, Hathaway scored all of her points within three feet of the basket. The center didn't play too many minutes in the second half as Coach Rich Kitagawa played with his lineup.

"She's been playing really well," Kitagawa said of Hathaway. "She's learning how to play with her back to the basket. She's been playing organized basketball for only a couple years."

Hathaway was instrumental in her squad's 14-0 run in the first half, resulting in a 16-4 advantage for the tournament host in what was once a tie game.

The lead would not be relinquished, despite the Tologs cutting the lead down to two at 31-29. Johnson, along with Kelly Fradet, combined to score 12 of the team's 20 second-half points. As a team, the Tologs outscored the Tigers by five in the second half, but surrendered a 6-2 run in the final two minutes.

"That's what summer league is for," said Buxman about needing to make adjustments going forward. "Better to do it now than in November."

The Tigers played their final summer league game later in the day, and the Tologs will play theirs Wednesday. Both programs earned a playoff berth last season and will look for similar success as the fall season approaches.

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