The La Cañada High boys' basketball team has shown there are ways to win games without Mike McGlashan, the team's leading scorer. It's just not easy.
The Spartans have been forced to play without McGlashan, who averages 15.6 points a game, twice already. So far they're two for two without their star guard, beating St. Francis, 51-46, on Dec. 30 and Temple City on Friday.
Flu-like symptoms benched McGlashan for La Cañada's first Rio Hondo League game of the year at Temple City on Friday night. La Cañada's defensive effort in the final quarter proved to be the difference in a game where points were at a premium.
La Cañada was able to clamp down on an already low-scoring game in the fourth quarter and go on a 7-2 run to make it out of Temple City with a 43-38 win.
"No one scored in the fourth quarter for a really long time, it was a weird game," La Cañada Coach Tom Hofman said.
It was a defensive struggle from the beginning. The Rams threw an unconventional defense at the Spartans, running a full-court press for most of the game, bringing the double team whenever possible on whomever possible.
Temple City ended up winning the turnover battle,13-11, and had La Cañada struggling on offense.
"The only way to beat La Cañada is by pressuring them," Temple City Coach Rich Hollinger said. "You can't give them any easy shots."
Hofman had to give the Rams credit.
"We didn't do a good job attacking them. We missed a lot of easy shots underneath, but they did a nice job," Hofman said. "They just go after you and go after you, and we didn't make the adjustments on the court like we needed to do."
Despite their shooting woes, the Spartans were able to pull out a win on the road using their height advantage. La Cañada was able to clean up the boards against a smaller Temple City squad, outrebounding the Rams, 27-17, largely due to the efforts of Matt Faber.
"Faber is the best athlete I've ever coached. He did a great job for us tonight," Hofman said.
Faber finished the game with 16 rebounds and 13 points and along with Dario CiVon (13 points, five rebounds), provided most of his team's scoring. Both players combined to score all 14 of La Cañada's points in the first quarter.
Still, the Spartans will be happy to have McGlashan back. The team's star hasn't been at full strength since tweaking his ankle against Crescenta Valley in the La Salle/Temple City Holiday Classic on Dec. 28. Hofman said he should be ready to go for the team's next game.
"The ankle is pretty good now. Hopefully he can rest up and we'll get him back [this] week," Hofman said.