LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE -- The La Canada boys; basketball team finally finished a game the way coach Tom Hofman likes to see.
Instead of hanging on for a whisker win, La Canada delivered a series of knockout blows against Inglewood in the semifinals of the CIF Division III Southern California Regional on Saturday night.
La Canada’s Mike McGlashan scored six points in the fourth quarter and led his team to a 60-50 win over Inglewood. Down two points, 42-40, after three quarters, La Canada outscored Inglewood 20-8 in the fourth quarter to turn a tight game into a blowout.
La Canada will play La Verne Lutheran, a 61-45 winner over Harvard-Westlake in the other semifinal, in next Saturday's regional final at USC's Galen Center. The winner will move on to the state title game in Sacramento the following weekend.
“The first half, we were impatient,” Hofman said. “That fourth quarter was the best we played all year. We’ve had a lot of great endings, but not great fourth quarters. Defense, rebounding, shot selection was excellent. We showed a lot of heart and a lot of drive.”
La Canada has played its share of close games in the playoffs. The Spartans won the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA championship by three points over Price. They won their second-round game in the Southern California Regional by one point over Crespi.
Riley Moore opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to give La Canada the lead, 43-42. Joseff Singleton gave Inglewood the lead back when he put back a missed shot less than a minute later.
The teams swapped leads again before La Canada started pulling away with 4:30 to play in the game.
McGlashan drove the lane and scored his first two points of the fourth quarter to tie the score at 47-47. He broke the tie with another driving shot through the lane with two seconds left on the shot clock to give La Canada a 49-47 lead.
“He hit huge shots and he was patient with them,” Hofman said. “He had great balance in the paint. He did a great job.”
McGlashan scored a team-high 18 points and had seven assists.
La Canada rattled off nine straight points to take a 56-47 lead with less than a minute to play. Moore hit another 3-pointer and Matt Faber scored on a layup during the fourth-quarter run.
Moore and Dario CiVon iced the game with free throws in the final 30 seconds.
Faber scored 14 points and had five rebounds. CiVon finished with 12 points and Moore scored 10.
Inglewood’s Julius Bilbrew led all scorers with 28 points. He scored 17 points in the first half, but only three, a lone 3-pointer, in the fourth quarter.