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La Cañada, Flintridge Prep girls' basketball nab home games in CIF openers

La Cañada, Flintridge Prep girls' basketball nab home games in CIF openers
La Cañada High and Tess Oakley-Stilson will open up the playoffs Thursday against Bonita. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)

For two straight nights, La Cañada Flintridge will be abuzz with playoff basketball excitement.

A day after the schools' boys' teams tip off in the CIF postseason, the Flintridge Prep and La Cañada High girls' basketball teams will begin their playoff quests Thursday night at 7 with home games across the street from one another.

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Rio Hondo League champion La Cañada will begin the 2-AA tournament with Bonita coming to town, while fourth-seeded Flintridge Prep begins Division 3-A play at home against California.

"The boys' game is the night before, so we're hoping to piggy-back off that and hope the fans carry that momentum over to the next night," Flintridge Prep co-coach Kevin Kiyomura said.

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Flintridge Prep (20-5) is rolling right now as it enters the playoffs having won 15 games in a row since a setback against La Cañada.

"I feel like we're progressing with an upward trajectory," Kiyomura said. "So, we feel good going into the playoffs."

At 13-13, California is a Del Rio League at-large entrant.

Should the Rebels prevail, they would lead them to Saturday's second round against Oxnard Pacifica (12-8, Pacific View No. 3) or Serrano (10-9, Mojave River No. 2).

Last season, Flintridge Prep had a bye into the 3-A second round as the No. 2 seed and advanced to the quarterfinals, where it lost to La Salle.

"The inaugural thought process was the goal was to get a couple games in the playoffs, but the way things shook up, the way they've played out, we feel we really should be able to hit that goal," Kiyomura said.

A good many area eyes are likely to be fixed on the Division 2-AA playoffs with Burroughs, Crescenta Valley, Glendale and La Cañada apart of the 32-team bracket.

La Cañada (22-4) has won 11 in a row heading into its game with Palomares League No. 3 squad Bonita (14-12). The winner will face Newbury Park (13-11, Marmonte League co-champion) or Crescenta Valley (20-7, Pacific League tri-champion) in Saturday's second round.

La Cañada began the 1-A playoffs a season ago with a 60-33 win at home over Redlands East Valley before falling to JW North, 49-44.

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