Sports briefs

La Cañada's freshman team wins tournament

La Cañada High's freshman basketball team won the California High School Tournament for the second consecutive year on Dec. 4. The Spartans won all three of their games against El Rancho, 52-42, Mark Keppel, 32-29, and Hacienda Heights, 43-37.

La Cañada's Kyle Thomas was named the tournament's most valuable player, averaging 11 points and 10 rebounds in the three-game span. Spartans Daniel Jun and Jacob Brown both made the all-tournament team.

Jun and Brown led La Cañada to the win against El Rancho. Jun put up 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Brown scored 12 points in the first-round game.

"It was our team defense that won this tournament," La Cañada Coach R.T. Van Valer said. "We had 15 guys on the bench doing a 'defense' chant on every defensive possession. The five guys on the floor just kept responding by making stops and getting rebounds. I was proud of the effort all of our guys gave this weekend. It was just a great team win."

Palpitating Panthers perform at Women's Conference

The Palpitating Panthers Jumprope Team showcased its skills at the 2010 Women's Conference presented by Maria Shriver in Long Beach in late October.

The Panthers, of La Cañada, brought an assortment of jumpers, ranging in age from 8-28, to the conference. The group performed more than 20 double-dutch, single-rope and long-rope routines.

The Women's Conference, known as the nation's premier forum for women, was held for three days at the Long Beach Convention Center to sold-out crowds. The event hosted female speakers ranging from first lady Michelle Obama to Oprah Winfrey.

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