First published in the Dec. 2 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
The La Cañada High School boys’ varsity basketball team and legendary head coach Tom Hofman, in his 36th season at the helm, looks as sharp as ever to start the season.
Hofman has guided the Spartans since 1986 and has more than 700 career wins while leading LCHS to five CIF championship games, two of which resulted in titles during the 1992 and 2011 seasons.
The Spartans have been a perennial powerhouse, having captured eight consecutive Rio Hondo League titles from 2013-21, owning an impressive 66-4 league record during that span.
The Spartans (4-1overall this season) placed third in the recent WV Tip-Off Classic, hosted by West Hills Chaminade High, as senior forward Brady Ransom earned all-tournament team honors.
LCHS defeated Palmdale Knight High, 70-48, on Saturday, after having lost to Encino Crespi, 49-40, the day prior. The Spartans opened the tournament by beating host Chaminade, 53-48, and Granada Hills Kennedy, 45-33, on Nov. 23 and 22, respectively.
The Spartans began the season with a 61-40 nonleague victory over visiting Glendale on Nov. 19.
“I think they are figuring out how to play together. The team is very solid athletically,” Hofman said. “We have 12 returning players from last year so we start five seniors. We have a lot of experience. Hopefully, we can use their experience to benefit us this year.”
Ransom has been great offensively, scoring a team-high 49 points this season, including eight 3-pointers, 21 rebounds and seven assists. He scored a game-high 11 points against Glendale.
“Brady is our best shooter on the team and maybe our most consistent offensive player right now,” Hofman said. “He’s turned into a very good defensive player, so he’s just a good all-around player.”
Senior center David Garland has season totals of 36 points, a team-high 26 rebounds and 12 blocks. He tallied a season-high 11 rebounds against Chaminade.
“David does a nice job scoring, but his major contribution right now has been defense,” Hofman said. “He’s been a stellar defensive player for us and our leading rebounder. When he does score and play inside well, we’re a pretty good team.”
Senior guard Ty Reynolds has scored 37 points with eight 3-pointers, including a season-high 15-point performance against Kennedy, while senior guard Brandon Chung has tallied 23 points, including six 3-pointers. He also has five assists and five rebounds.
“Brandon is another returning starter and he’s improved a lot this year, turning into a much better scorer for us,” Hofman said.
Senior forward Jacob Lee has scored 16 points, including three 3-point field goals, sophomore guard Jack Reynolds has 15 points, including one 3-pointer, seven rebounds and five steals, and sophomore Anders Petersen has 14 points, four assists and three rebounds.
Senior forward Jack Stoben had six points, 10 rebounds and six assists, while senior forward Wil Sheffield recorded eight rebounds against Glendale.
Sophomore guard Matthew Plocher tallied three points and one steal. Senior forward Caden Feehan had three rebounds, one assist and one block, senior guard Regan Franklin added one assist, steal and rebound, and junior guards Jason Brown and Corey Chung have one steal and one rebound, respectively.
“We’re going to have different scoring leaders every game, probably. They play well together and that’s always a good thing,” Hofman said. “They have very good chemistry; they just really like each other. I don’t think I’ve had a team any closer than this team and I think they present that on offense.”
The Spartans will host Flintridge Prep in a nonleague contest on Dec. 9, at 6 p.m.