LCHS Edges Burbank in Tournament Opener, 49-48

First published in the Dec. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

La Cañada High School’s varsity girls’ basketball team opened its 14th annual New Year’s Ball Tournament by edging Burbank High, 49-48, on Monday evening.
In the final quarter, senior center Kylie Sears drained a deciding free throw with half a second remaining after missing her first attempt. She finished with three points and a team-high eight rebounds.
“I tend to miss my first one and then make my second one. Even though I missed my first one, I knew what was wrong with my shot and I adjusted,” Sears said. “I wasn’t thinking it was that big of a deal because I didn’t want to psych myself out. It’s like practice; I mean, I’ve done this a hundred times.”
La Cañada nearly slipped after entering the fourth quarter with a 42-33 lead. Burbank opened the final quarter with an 8-2 scoring run before finally tying it 48-48 with 1:12 remaining, pathing the way for Sears’ deciding basket.
The first half was a battle with nine lead changes and ties between the two teams. However, LCHS built a cushion behind a 21-point second quarter, which gave the Spartans a 27-20 lead at halftime.
Junior guard Mia Oakley-Stilson recorded 15 points, five assists and three steals, freshman guard Jennifer Musso added 14 points and four rebounds and sophomore guard Isabella Chividjian scored 10 points.
“I thought Isabella stepped up for us,” LCHS coach Jonathan Saavedra said. “She started shooting the ball on balance and in rhythm and knocked down some key shots for us in the first half.”
Senior guard Lily Khayat added four points, senior center Hailey Tamara scored two points, sophomore forward Talia Miyamoto had one point and senior guard Sunny Wakeman had three rebounds.
“One of the players that stood out for us was Sunny,” Saavedra said. “I thought her rebounding, overall effort and communication on defense were huge for us throughout the game.”
Following the tournament, La Cañada (6-3 overall record) will start Rio Hondo League play by hosting Pasadena Blair on Wednesday, Jan. 5, at 5:15 p.m.

The Wolves dominated Glendale, 55-34, in their La Cañada Tournament opener on Monday.
Junior point guard Ashley Chea registered a double-double with 30 points and 12 rebounds, nearly single-handedly outscoring Glendale.
Maddie Chiu added 21 points and six rebounds while Maddi Huie scored four points.
The Wolves (9-4 overall record, 4-0 in league) will seek their 71st consecutive Prep League victory when they host Providence of Burbank on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m.

The Tologs wrapped up December by winning five of their seven recent games, including a dominant 51-30 nonleague victory over visiting Blair High on Tuesday, Dec. 21.
FSHA (7-5 overall) will begin Sunshine League play by hosting Mayfield Senior of Pasadena on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 6 p.m.