LACES senior forward Kenna McConnachie is swarmed by the Poly defense as she drives to the hoop in Saturday’s CIF L.A. City Section Div. 1 championship at Pasadena City College.


Moka Tsukino

Published Feb. 28, 2023

PASADENA – Los Angeles CES head coach Jelani Bandele brought the same dedication and confidence to the post-game consolation speech that he displays during games.

“What I love about sports is the highs and the lows, you get to have this range of emotions,” he said. “Just remember, this is not a conclusion.”

For his crestfallen players, his words were a welcome comfort, and a reminder that their season is not over.

LACES battled in overtime on Saturday, eventually falling to Poly of Sun Valley, 67-64, in the CIF L.A. City Section Div. 1 championship game.

Katie Chiba

Poly jumped out to a fast start, behind an unstoppable performance by junior Hannah Lising, who scored a game-high 35 points – 17 in the second quarter alone.

Senior point guard Maya Sano led LACES with 13 points, and in spite of her diappointment with the loss, was trying to keep the experience in perspective.

“As much as I wanted to win today, I tried to remember in that last eight minutes to enjoy this moment and still have fun,” she said.

LACES will host Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary in the first round of the CIF State Div. IV tournament on Tuesday.

Left: Maya Sano. Right: Kailyn Yoshimi

“There’s a chance Tuesday could be the last game,” said senior Kenna McConnachie. “But I know there’s always someone to pick me up if I make a mistake. That’s what makes us a good team.”

Photos by MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS/Rafu Shimpo

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