La Canada boys' basketball

La Cañada's Grant Arthur commits a foul chasing the ball around Glendale's Raffi Jivalagian in the La Cañada Holiday Classic boys' basketball tournament on Tuesday. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer / December 17, 2013)

LA CAÑADA — Down by nine points late in the first quarter, La Cañada boys' basketball Coach Tom Hofman made a lineup change.

Hofman summoned Grant Arthur into action and the sophomore guard provided an immediate spark.

Arthur finished with a game-high 17 points, including five three-pointers, to propel host La Cañada to a 54-34 victory against Glendale on Tuesday in a pool-play contest of the Holiday Classic.

PHOTOS: La Cañada Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament

The Spartans, who trailed, 14-5, made 10 three-pointers to improve to 5-0. Glendale dipped to 2-2.

Arthur said he was willing to provide some pop in the Spartans' offense.

“I had good form with my shooting,” Arthur said. “Everything rounded into place for me and my teammates gave some real good passes.

“I got into a rhythm. Our defense was then able to shut [Glendale] down.”

Arthur, who helped the Spartans win the Arroyo Tournament on Saturday, made a three-pointer to knot it at 16 with 6:20 remaining in the second quarter and cap an 11-2 run. He then made another three-pointer to give the Spartans a 24-17 advantage four minutes later.

La Cañada built a 25-17 halftime advantage and held the Nitros at bay throughout the second half.

Hofman, who has piloted the Spartans to a pair of CIF championships, said Arthur showed resilience in handling his shooting responsibilities.

“Grant did a great job coming off the bench,” Hofman said. “We think he'll play a lot of minutes for us this season.

“He's a great shooter. The potential is there.”

La Cañada built a 39-23 lead on a three-pointer by Arthur with 55 seconds left in the third quarter. The Spartans held a 42-25 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Hofman said the Spartans adjusted after beginning slowly on both ends of the court.

“I thought our defense did a better job of getting after it,” said Hofman, whose team is ranked No. 7 in the CIF Southern Section Division III-A preseason poll. “We also have some confidence early on after winning the Arroyo Tournament.”

La Cañada received nine points from Dan Jun and seven from Ko Ko Kurdoghlian.

Glendale, which opened its season with a third-place finish in the Burbank High Tournament in early December, got 14 points from Alex Miralis and seven from Stephan Arakelyan.

Veteran Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress said the Nitros got off to a good start, but couldn't contain the hot-shooting Spartans for the duration of the contest.

“I loved the start,” Snodgress said. “We came out strong and played some good defense.

“Things just turned fast on us in the second quarter. La Cañada shoots the ball so well. Once they get it going, they get it going. Our response to their run in the second quarter wasn't too good. We hope to respond better going forward.”

The Nitros jumped out to an 8-2 lead on a three-pointer by Arakelyan with 3:10 to play in the first quarter. Miralis scored on a layup to give Glendale a 14-5 advantage with 1:50 left in the opening
quarter.

Glendale and La Cañada will take part in pool-play contests Wednesday. The Nitros will meet Mark Keppel at 4:30 p.m. The Spartans will take on Marina at 7:30.