San Marino Edges Temple City in League Opener

It wasn’t easy for the San Marino High School varsity boys’ basketball team during its nonleague portion of the season, but it was by design. Head coach Mihail Papadopulos wanted to challenge his squad as much as he could going into Rio Hondo League play, a move that certainly paid off for the battle-tested Titans as they edged host Temple City, 70-69, in the teams’ league opener last week.
It was San Marino’s first victory over Temple City since 2012, and it also snapped a four-game losing streak.
“We are all so proud of the effort by the entire team,” Papadopulos said in an email. “Jimmy Fuerst and Zach Spaulding had tremendous impact in this game. We were so elated to see them have that moment. Owen Koch and Andrew Quach were so tough defensively tonight, and guys like Michael Shahan gave us great rebounds.
“Everyone just dug in and played their tails off, played their roles and stayed the course,” he added. “We know we have some impact players, but we can’t impact the outcome without all of our players. Our guys played with tremendous heart and guts today, overcame adversity and found a path to victory.”
Trailing 20-19 at the half, San Marino’s offense finally broke through in the third quarter behind Jadyn Torres’ nine points. The Titans built a 38-32 lead going in the final quarter.
The Rams clawed back from the free-throw line and beyond the arc. They managed to take a 69-68 lead with only 30 seconds remaining.
Koch came through for San Marino by forcing a turnover, which then setup a clutch shot from Torres. Temple City missed its final opportunity, giving the Titans (9-8 overall record) a big win.
Torres led San Marino with 24 point and 13 rebounds, and Chuma Azinge added 14 points and four rebounds. Fuerst netted nine points, Quach finished with seven, Shahan had six points, Josh Chang and Spaulding finished with four each, and Koch contributed two points.
The Titans were unable to continue their winning ways at home against Pasadena Blair on Friday. The Vikings built a double-digit lead in the first half and held on to defeat San Marino, 60-55.
San Marino will be on the road this week for two league contests. The Titans took on rival South Pasadena on Wednesday and then face defending Rio Hondo League champion La Cañada this Friday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m.

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