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Titans Start Season 5-3 In First Two Tournamnets of Season

Will Slocum

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The San Marino High School Titans won three out of their four games in the Polytechnic Tournament last Tuesday through Saturday, marking the completion of their second tournament of season.

The Titans got off to a rough in the tournament when they lost to Pilibos High School 59-48 on Tuesday. Throughout the game, San Marino made many mistakes and did not play at their best.

The Titans bounced back, however,  winning their last three games to close out the tournament.

The first victory came in a 74-71 win over Executive Prep Academy. The Titans started off the game with an aggressive zone defense that forced lots of missed shots. The Titans offense was helped by Andrew Quach and Michael Shahan who had a combined 36 points in the first half. San Marino had a 41-28 lead going into the locker room.

Executive Prep  hit many shots early in the second half which made the game close. However, as the quarter went on the Titans defense began to play better and they had decent shooting which gave them an 18 point lead going into the fourth quarter. Executive Prep made the contest tight again by hitting lots of big shots late in the game. With a small lead, the Titans were able to close out the game by  free throws made by Will Steel and Chuma Azinge. Nate Wang had a steal to get pocession and finish off the game. Michael Shahan had a great game with 21 points and 8 rebounds.

Head Coach Mahail Papadopulos described how his team was able to play better which got them to win. Papadopulos said, “It was nice to see our guys find themselves again as they kept things simple, played hard and stuck with the game plan.”

In the tournaments following round, San Marino beat the Holy Martyrs Armens 69-48, after defeating them the previous week. The Titans came out strong with a great shooting and rebounding that allowed them to score 22 points in the first quarter. Things began to turn in the second quarter when Holy Martyrs made it close again after going on a scoring spree and playing better on defense. However, San Marino pulled away in the second half which resulted from a solid defensive performance and good games from Chuma Azinge and Andrew Quach.

The following game, San Marino ended the tournament on a good note by defeating Providence High School 56-47. San Marino had good shooting (especially free throws) and an aggressive defense early. Even though Providence  started shooting better as the game went on; the Titans were able to keep them in check and have a 9 point lead at halftime. Providence tied the game after the third quarter, where they had a strong defense and made key shots. However the Titans prevailed in the fourth quarter with better shooting and a good defense. Andrew Quach had a nice game where he scored 29 points.

Prior to the Polytechnic Tournament, San Marino started the season by competing in the Paul Sutton Providence Tournament from November 29th to December 2nd. In the tournament, San Marino finished with a record of 2-2.

In the first round, San Marino beat the Holy Martyrs Armens 61-37. The Titans got off to a strong start by outscoring Holy Martyrs 15 to 5 in the first quarter. Even though the Armens went on a run in the second quarter; San Marino continued to play well throughout the rest of the game which led to the victory.

The next day, San Marino was defeated by Pilipos High School, 57-50. The contest was hard thought by both teams and it stayed competitive the whole way through. “It was a hard fought and physical game by both teams that just had too many unlucky bounces for the Titans,” quoted head coach Mahili Papadopulos.

In the third round, the Titans rebounded by beating the Agoura Chargers in a tight game by a final score of 57-56. The first quarter was a deadlock between the two defense with Agoura having an 8 to 7 advantage at the quarter’s end. At the beginning of the second quarter, the Chargers offense broke away when they hit 5 three point shots. Although, San Marino was able to stay in the game by scoring several points of their own. Azinge and  Quach lead the way by scoring a combined 15 points in the second quarter. The Titans were down by 4 at halftime.

San Marino shooting guard Michael Baldocchi described how his teams can go on offensive runs such as this one. Baldocchi said, “Our athleticism excites me the most about us. We have the ability to get a lot of fast break opportunities and make some really exciting plays.”

In the second half, the Titans played well enough to force overtime after making adjustments that limited the amount of three point shots by Agoura. The Titans prevailed in overtime and won by a tight score of 57-56.

San Marino closed out the tournament on December 2nd with a tough loss to their archrivals, the South Pasadena Tigers, 68-65. Throughout the game San Marino struggled with shooting from the three point line and they could not consistently  stop the Tigers offense. San Marino was led by Chuma Azinge with 27 points and Andrew Quach by scoring 12.

Coach Papadopulos feels as though a tough loss in a tournament could be a good learning experience for players. Papadopulos stated, “Although a bitter pill to swallow, it may end up being a vital lesson that could assist us throughout the season. That’s why these tournaments are critical, it’s important to be challenge and work through some of those early season adjustments. There’s no doubt that we have some unique talent but we have some work to do to dial it in”.

Over the tournaments the Titans top scorers were Azinge who had 65 points, Quach with a mark of 51 and Michael Shahan who totaled 47.

The Titans return to the court on December 19th where they host Whitney High School. Afterwards, San Marino will compeat in the Tri City Tournament from December 27th to the 29th.

 

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Titans Start Season 5-3 In First Two Tournamnets of Season