First published in the Dec. 2 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
The La Salle College Preparatory varsity girls’ basketball team won its season-opener at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, 45-19, on Monday, Nov. 18.
La Salle freshman guard Kaden Cortes scored a game-high 16 points, including two 3-pointers, and had five rebounds.
“This being my first high school game, it was a pretty fun experience overall. [FSHA] was great competition; my team … played great as well,” Cortes said. “I look forward to hopefully getting to playoffs. I think it’d be really nice if we at least got there — got our seniors a ring if we go to CIF.”
Sophomore guard Audrey Chen also had a terrific game, recording the Lancers’ first double-double with 11 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. She also had five steals.
“Audrey is one of our leaders — All-CIF kid last year, all-league, really kind of stepping into her own as a leader and kind of carried us in a rough patch there in the third quarter,” said Scott Wiard, La Salle’s head coach.
The Lancers’ dominant performance started with an 8-0 scoring run in the first quarter behind baskets from Cortes, junior guard Reese Wong and sophomore forward Ryann Riddle.
La Salle (2-0 overall record) also played tough defense, allowing FSHA (1-1 overall) to score one field goal in the quarter.
Wong recorded nine points on a team-high three 3-pointers with six rebounds, six assists and five steals, while Riddle had eight points and five rebounds.
“Reese Wong had three threes in the first quarter — that’s what you expect from a three-year starter. She’s played more games than everybody else on the team combined,” Wiard said. “In [Riddle’s] first game at the varsity level, she really kind of showed some of her versatility. I’m really pleased with what she did.”
In the second quarter, the game was ultimately decided when Cortes’ second 3-pointer gave the Lancers a commanding 22-6 lead with 38 seconds remaining, as FSHA could not recover from the large deficit. Meanwhile, the Lancers held the Tologs to an average of fewer than five points per quarter and outscored FSHA in each quarter.
La Salle sophomore forward Avery Ward scored one point with seven rebounds, sophomore guard Aubrey Ramos had one rebound and one assist, junior forward Meghan Christensen had two rebounds and one steal, and junior guard Daniella Romero tallied one rebound.
“Always good to win the first one,” Wiard said. “I thought we were good defensively tonight, which is a good way to set the tone for the rest of the year.”
Tologs senior Faith Ellis recorded a team-high six points while junior Meghan Garrity scored five points, including FSHA’s lone 3-pointer.
“Faith Ellis is always going to be our leader up and down the court. She runs the court, she’s a defensive stopper, big presence inside — we expect a double-double out of her every game,” said Ty Buxman, FSHA’s head coach. “[Garrity] is maybe our quickest player on the team and just always brings energy. She can change the character of the game just with her presence on the court and that’s definitely something we’re looking for her to do. We know whenever she’s on the court, she’s going to bring it.”
FSHA junior Celina Maduka scored four points while teammates senior Isabella Cao and freshman Ava Nawrocki each scored two points.
The Tologs’ best quarter came in the third as Garrity, Maduka and Cao all found the net, scoring a combined eight points.
“This is a whole new team,” Buxman said. “We have a lot of returners, but we also have three or four key players that are new, so we are just trying to figure out how to integrate them and get used to each other.”
La Salle 51, Rio Hondo Prep 30
The Lancers defeated host Arcadia Rio Hondo Prep, outscoring their opponent in three of four quarters and forcing 18 turnovers in the nonleague victory.
Wong and Chen scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, including one 3-pointer each. Wong was a perfect three for three from the foul line while adding three assists, and Chen registered six rebounds.
Ward recorded six points and a team-high 19 rebounds, while Riddle scored 12 points with nine rebounds.
Cortes had three points, three rebounds and three assists, Romero had two points and two rebounds, and Christensen tallied one point.