San Marino win over La Cañada

"Defense wins championships" is one of the more lasting slogans to grace the sports landscape in a language brimming with memorable sayings.

The boys' varsity basketball team of San Marino High School celebrates its 48-37 triumph against La Caada last Friday, its first home victory over the Spartans in 32 years.

When asked about the magic elixir that helped San Marino climb to 18-2 overall and 6-1 in the Rio Hondo League on Monday, Papadopulos responded, "Defense."

When the final buzzer pierced the clamour inside San Marino's Dingus Memorial Gymnasium and students rushed to rush the floor, he didn't have to say it again.

For 32 minutes, the Titans outhustled the Spartans, winning nearly every loose ball and putting a hand in the face of every shot on the court.

In the end, La Caada became engulfed in San Marino's tsunami of commotion, which was both produced by and spilled over into the season's greatest crowd.

David Irie, the athletic director, deserves credit for putting an end to the court-storming that had begun but never materialised.

Who could blame the Titan faithful? Basketball victories over the Spartans seem to be as rare as comet appearances.

San Marino has not defeated La Caada at Dingus Gymnasium in 32 years, when the Titans won 57-51 on Feb. 8, 1990.

On Feb. 5, 2013, Jasper Hwang scored 22 points to lead the Titans to a 67-51 victory over the Spartans on their home court.