PASADENA — Prior to its rivalry battle with Pasadena Poly, the Flintridge Prep boys’ basketball team had already claimed the Prep League title.
Considering that, and the fact the Rebels were playing their fifth consecutive road game, and on a Saturday no less, lack of motivation could have definitely been a factor. But that certainly wasn’t the case.
“Our goal for this season is to try and win a CIF championship, so we cannot take one game off,” said Flintridge Prep star Robert Cartwright. “And it's our rival. There's no reason for us to not come out excited, ready to play every game. That's what we wanted to do and that's what we did, we came out and played hard.”
The Rebels dominated the Panthers on the road, winning, 53-28.
Flintridge improves to 18-5 overall and 7-0 in Prep League. Poly falls to 16-6 and 3-4.
“It's always a rivalry,” said Rebels Coach Garrett Ohara. “You see the good energy. We didn't have to worry about trying to motivate them.”
Defense characterized the first quarter, as Prep held an anemic 8-4 lead. But then the Rebels' shots started falling and they took a 24-11 advantage into halftime.
“I think our defense was pretty good,” Ohara said. “We were able to hold them to 11 points at halftime. I thought our defense was able to create some easier things for our offense as well.”
Cartwright almost outscored the Panthers himself, finishing with 27 points to go with three assists. Prep went up, 39-21, after the third period en route to the 53-28 victory.
“We knew if we kept running our offense and attacking the basket, we would get points,” Cartwright said. “It worked out for us.”
Heading into the game, Poly Coach Brad Hall knew his team would struggle offensively and that it would need to rely on the defensive side of the ball if it stood a chance of pulling out the win.
“I need to do a better job of preparing ourselves to play offense,” Hall said. “They have a nice team and they played well.
“I thought we played pretty well defensively in the half court. What hurt us more were the baskets off of turnovers.”
Will Genske led the way for Poly with 10 points. Curtis Toyota added eight points, five rebounds and three assists.
Prep's Chadd Cosse added 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The teams face each other again Thursday night at Flintridge Prep.
“I just need to do a better job of teaching us how to play offense,” Hall said. “If I can do that, we'll be a whole lot better off when we play them next week.”