LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — There wasn't much else to do but avoid a collapse after the La Cañada High boys' basketball team shut Schurr out in the first quarter of its home and tournament opener Tuesday.
Schurr was kept off the board in the first quarter by La Cañada's lockdown defense. La Cañada ran away with a 51-23 victory, as the setback crushed nearly all hope Schurr had of defeating the host of the La Cañada Holiday Classic in the first day of the tournament Tuesday.
"Defense has been one of the consistently good things on this team so far," La Cañada Coach Tom Hofman said. "The offense has struggled. We showed some spark in spurts that we might be coming alive today."
La Cañada (4-1) absolutely locked down on defense in the first half, holding Schurr (0-2) to just six points in the first half and scoring 29 of its own. Darrell Dansby got La Cañada going offensively, scoring 10 of his team's first 19 points in the game.
"Darrell has had a good start," Hofman said. "He is a much more consistent player than he was last year."
Dansby finished with a game-high 14 points, three rebounds and three blocks. Conner Boyd, La Cañada's senior center, had eight points in the game.
La Cañada got out to a quick advantage in the first quarter behind solid defense and rebounding. La Cañada forced six Schurr turnovers and outrebounded the visiting team, 8-3, in the first eight minutes.
Schurr committed 21 turnovers and was beat on the boards, 26-10, by the end of the contest.
Schurr got its first bucket with 4:20 to go in the first half when Trevor Kuresa hit a layup to cut the lead to 16-2. Dansby made sure it didn't lead to anything more, as he nailed a three pointer on the ensuing possession and kept momentum with the home team.
By the end of the half, La Cañada had increased its lead to 29-6, following a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Mario Del Cueto, and kept a comfortable lead using an all-subs lineup for a majority of the final 16 minutes.
Eleven different players scored, but no one really went off for La Cañada, as Hofman used his team's early comfortable lead as a chance to play his entire lineup.
"That's good, we hadn't been able to do that yet because we'd been struggling in some games," Hofman said.
Hofman said Tuesday was an opportunity to mix up his rotations and see who works well together on the floor. It's a work in progress but things are starting to click, Dansby added.
"This whole team is basically new because all of the starters from last year took off," Dansby said. "We are basically working with a brand new team. We are learning our strengths. I am trying to set up my shooters and I know where Conner likes the ball in the post so I try to get it to him there.
"We are starting to feel each other a little more."