La Cañada High boys' golf topples rival Crescenta Valley

PASADENA — Things have come together quite nicely for the La Cañada High boys’ golf team during the first month of the season.

With lofty expectations which include winning the program’s first state tournament, the Spartans have adjusted well thus far having won two tournaments and compiling an unblemished record.

La Cañada continued its winning ways Tuesday afternoon, as sophomore Collin Morikawa shot a two-over-par 72 to help the visiting Spartans earn a 384-433 nonleague victory against rival Crescenta Valley at Brookside Golf Course No. 2.

“We have gotten off to an amazing start, plus we like our depth,” said Morikawa, who earned medalist honors and is the reigning All-Area Boys’ Golfer of the Year after leading the Spartans (9-0) to their seventh Rio Hondo League championship last season. “Everybody has been practicing very hard since last summer.

“Those are the kind of things that make it fun to go out there and play. We come out ready to play each time.”

Morikawa, who captured the league’s individual championship last season, was one of four Spartans to shoot 79 or better. La Cañada received a 73 from Robby Stehlin, 79s from Daniel Rhee and Noah Bernstein and an 81 from Sam Bernstein.

It’s precisely the kind of performances that La Cañada Coach Richard Tetu, who was named the All-Area Boys’ Golf Coach of the Year last season, sought.

“We had a tough first match against St. Francis early on,” Tetu said. “Since then, we have seen a lot of improvement every single round.

“I’m very optimistic about our team. I really like where we are now.”

Crescenta Valley (2-9) was led by Cody Renfro, who carded a 77. The Falcons, who finished second in the Pacific League last season, received a 78 from Paul Park.

The Falcons lost Adrian Chia to an apparent shoulder injury in the middle of the match. Crescenta Valley got 92s from Tanner Bloks and John Hong and a 94 from Raphael Shin.

Crescenta Valley Coach Lee Pope, who guided the school’s girls’ team to a share of the Pacific League title last season, said the Falcons continue to search for their identity.

“We are still struggling a little bit,” Pope said. “We are still trying to find ourselves.

“We ran into a buzz saw in La Cañada. They are so unbelievable, good and deep. Hats off to them. We just need to learn from this experience. We are trying to find our way. I’m pleased with the way we competed. There’s no disgrace losing to a team like that.”

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