The La Cañada High boys' basketball team got out to a hot start against Temple City Friday, and finished the Rio Hondo League game on fire.
The Spartans controlled the game, from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer — going on a 25-9 run in the first quarter, a 24-7 run in the third and a 21-10 run in the fourth — on their way to a dominating 79-35 victory.
The game became so one-sided that the officials instituted a running clock in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, as La Cañada jumped out to a 40-point lead.
"This is one of the best games of the year; we had a good performance from everybody," La Cañada Coach Tom Hofman said.
Mike McGlashan, La Cañada's shooting guard, stood out, finishing with game-high in points (23) and assists (five), even though he sat out the entire fourth quarter, along with the rest of the Spartans' starters.
La Cañada was just able to pull out a 43-38 win on the road against the Rams on Jan. 7, when McGlashan sat out the game with flu-like symptoms.
"Mike really made up for not getting a chance to play in the first game," Hofman said.
The dominating performance came a week after one of La Cañada's worst games of the season against Blair, as the Spartans might have overlooked the Vikings and barely won, 58-50, in the league contest at home. The game against Blair served as motivation against Temple City, McGlashan said.
"Any time we overlook a team in Rio Hondo League we're going to have problems. Tonight, we just needed to come out and play hard, and we did," McGlashan said.
Everything clicked for La Cañada (19-2, 6-0 in league) against the Rams (9-11, 4-2). The dagger came early in the third quarter when the Spartans stole the ball at the half-court line and took a clear path to the basket. Sean Mintie passed the ball to Matt Faber, who powered down a slam dunk, giving La Cañada an insurmountable 43-18 lead, and all the momentum.
"This team is very streaky; when they get going they can really get it done. Except for two minutes in the second quarter, we took good shots — we hadn't been doing that this year," Hofman said.
The blowout was the result of the Spartans outrebounding Temple City, 40-15. Faber grabbed a game-high 17 boards and added eight points. La Cañada connected from behind the three-point line 11 times and every Spartan finished the game with at least one bucket.
"It's great knowing you got people to come off the bench and still keep the game going and not give up the lead," McGlashan said.
La Cañada suffered its third loss of the season the next day, though, against El Camino High in the Fairfax Showcase. The Wildcats beat the Spartans, 68-59, dropping La Cañada's overall record to 19-3.