Blair High School lost to San Pedro 93-71 in the second round of the state CIF playoffs Thursday night after trailing by a large margin in the first half.
“Tough way to end an incredible season”, the school’s basketball Twitter feed lamented. “While it didn’t end the way we hoped what our players did was historic. For the rest of their lives, they get to call themselves champions!!!!
The season saw the Vikings make school history when it earned its first CIF-SS championship title against Santa Paula on Feb. 25.
The victory marked a remarkable turnaround for Blair, which had suffered losses in the CIF-SS finals in 1983 and 2017 and had a disappointing record over the past four years.
Head Coach Devon Richardson said he was proud of his team’s progress and credited Assistant Coach Tommy Anderson, father of freshman Vikings standout Timmy Anderson, for helping develop the players.
Blair is the only Pasadena Unified School District boys’ basketball team to reach the CIF-SS championships this season.
The Vikings marched on to the CIF State regional playoffs, upsetting Division IV second seed Arroyo Grande 76-62 on Tuesday after a grueling 3.5-hour road trip.
The team received a hero’s welcome when they returned home to the school campus at 2:20 a.m. Wednesday, thanks to Mayor Victor Gordo’s office.
The Pasadena Fire Department was waiting with a ladder truck and a second fire vehicle and the Pasadena Police Department had eight cruisers at the school with their lights, horns and sirens blaring to welcome the team home.
Thursday night, as the game and historic season ended, Blair fans rose and gave the team a standing ovation.
“This team faced incredible adversity and showed up every time begging for more. 5 of 6 on the road playoff games, traveled hundreds of miles to play in hostile gyms and they stepped up every time. Knocked off the #2 seed after getting moved up a division and they loved it,” the team’s Twitter extolled.
“This isn’t a flash-in-the-pan season… Blair will be a basketball powerhouse when it’s all said and done.”