First published in the Jan. 20 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.
It’s a season that began late and has been further delayed because of the pandemic. But when San Marino High School’s top-ranked boys’ varsity basketball team has been able to play its games, the results have been remarkably successful.
Last week, the Titans opened Rio Hondo League play, collecting wins over Temple City and Blair High of Pasadena.
Last Monday, San Marino (14-1 overall record, 2-0 in league) survived a slow start during which it scored just four points in the first quarter. But the Titans found their legs in the fist game following a two-week layoff and eventually wore down the host Rams behind 20 points from Adrian Huang, 16 from Jayden Tse and 11 from Bobby Reyes.
Returning home on Wednesday night, San Marino enjoyed a much better start as senior Michael Azinge and Tse scored eight points in the first quarter as the Titans blazed to a 25-6 advantage after just one stanza. San Marino eventually defeated the Vikings, 79-56, and is currently ranked No. 1 in the CIF Sothern Section’s 4AA Division.
Azinge finished the game with 20 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots while Tse collected 15 points and three steals. Huang recorded 12 points while grabbing three rebounds and Reyes picked up eight points and five rebounds. San Marino also received contributions from Aidan Houang and Xavier Duong (seven points apiece), David Jiang (four points), Mason Lo and Kyle Yu (three points apiece) and Jacob Wang (one point). Jaden Clarke and Truman Koch controlled the boards with 15 and six rebounds, respectively.
“We are little by little finding our stride again,” said head coach Mihail Papadopulos. “In our game against Temple City on Monday, we were thrown off a little by a lack of energy and effort to start the game. That’s not typical for this group’s DNA, but we were eventually able to find the juice.
“I know that most people tend to value and judge players by way of points, but our seniors Kyle Yu, Mason Lo and Aidan Hoang and junior Xavier Duong did a phenomenal job defensively checking their best scorers,” said the coach.
San Marino faced South Pasadena on Wednesday night and the Titans visit Monrovia this Friday at 7 p.m.