The game plan for the Flintridge Prep boys’ basketball team in its CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA first-round game was to get the ball inside to Jake Althouse.
The plan worked perfectly, as the 6-foot-4 senior scorched Quartz Hill to the tune of 20 points.
While Althouse was going to work inside, junior Jonathan Le was lights-out from the outside, scoring a game-high 21 points on a season-high five three-pointers.
Flintridge Prep’s inside-out game was too much for Quartz Hill to overcome, as the local squad rolled to a 68-47 victory at home in a battle of Rebels squads.
The win earned Flintridge Prep (12-8), the runner-up from the Prep League, a spot in Friday’s second round. The Rebels, who advanced to the Division V-AA championship game during the 2015-16 season, look to have a tough matchup against No. 2 Blair (21-6). Blair won its opener Wednesday against Ontario, 81-55.
Not having played since Feb. 3, Flintridge Prep came out a little shaky against Quartz Hill (13-10), the third-place team from the Golden League, and fell behind, 5-0.
“We haven’t played for a number of days, so that might have had something to do with that,” Flintridge Prep Coach Garrett Ohara said. “But also starting out the playoff and being in the situation where if you lose you’re done, that could have also had something to do with it.
“It was good that we were playing at home. We were able to get through those early struggles and we were able to play better after that.”
Althouse also had 13 rebounds and senior Beau Detchemendy added nine points, all on three-pointers. Senior Kendall Kikkawa also had an excellent game with eight points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
After missing its first five shots to start the game, Flintridge Prep turned things around midway through the first quarter. It fought back and, when Althouse scored on a power move under the basket with 3:26 remaining, Flintridge Prep went in front, 8-7.
Flintridge Prep kept up the momentum and finished the first quarter leading by six, 15-9.
“One of our big focuses was to get the ball to me inside, so hopefully I could get some points there,” Althouse said. “But our outside shooting was really there tonight and that helped us out in a big way.
“It just motivates me to know the team has the confidence to get me the ball inside and that I’m going to do my best to do my job. That really says a lot about this team.”
It was in the second quarter in which Flintridge Prep made its move. Its defense caused six turnovers in the second and when Althouse (11 points in the second) scored a bucket with 3:30 left, Flintridge Prep’s lead increased to, 32-19. Flintridge Prep went into halftime with a 35-24 advantage.
The third quarter was Le’s time to shine, as he drained three three-pointers and scored 11 points in the frame. That helped give Flintridge Prep a 51-37 advantage after three quarters.
“Johnny hitting five threes is very big,” Ohara said. “There was a little mental thing with his shooting earlier in the season and we just encouraged him to keep shooting.”
Ohara cleared his bench in the fourth.
Quartz Hill was led by sophomore Zachary Miller, who had 15 points and 13 rebounds.