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Glendora Gets Defensive to Win

January 06, 2002|Ben Bolch

Glendora High guard Larry Monroe scorched Claremont for 20 of his 23 points in the first half Saturday night at Azusa Pacific, but it was the Tartans' fourth-quarter defense that allowed them to pull out a 46-45 Baseline League victory.

Glendora switched among three defenses--box and one, man to man and zone--in the quarter to frustrate Claremont's shooters. The Wolfpack managed only one field goal in the final eight minutes, when Shaddean Aaron banked in a meaningless NBA-range three-pointer at the buzzer.

"I thought we played a great defensive game," said Glendora Coach Michael Le Duc, whose Tartans (13-1), No. 11 in The Times' rankings, avenged a 69-60 loss to Glendora earlier in the season. "If you give any of their great players anything at all, they can hurt you."

Monroe, who missed most of the teams' first meeting after spraining his right ankle in the first quarter, played like he had something to prove.

He buried two three-pointers in the first quarter and two more in the second as Glendora took a three-point halftime lead.

"I was waiting for [this game]," Monroe said. "I was pumped up."

But Claremont continually switched defenses in the second half, limiting Monroe's effectiveness. All of his second-half points came on free throws.

"They did a much better job of trying to take it away from him," Le Duc said.

Claremont (12-5), which trailed by as many as 12 points in the first quarter, chipped away at its deficit until tying the score at 35 late in the third quarter on a long jumper by Aaron, who finished with a game-high 24 points.

The Wolfpack held the Tartans to only one field goal in the third quarter.

The lead changed hands several times until Glendora's Michael Mehanna scored on a putback to give the Tartans a 43-41 advantage with about two minutes to play.

Perrin Johnson had a chance to tie the score with 1:39 left but made only one of two free throws, and Mehanna gave Glendora a 46-42 lead with a driving layup and a free throw.

"It was scratch and claw--every loose ball, every rebound, every free throw was significant," Claremont Coach Sal Magallanes said. "We need to run off a nice big streak so that when we play them again, neither of us has lost another game."

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