After an 80-mile journey east to the Inland Empire, the members of the Flintridge Prep girls’ basketball team got comfortable in a hurry on the court Saturday.
The Rebels, fresh off splitting the Prep League championship, got a balanced scoring attack from a trio of players to pick up a 55-39 win against Banning in a CIF Southern Section Division IV-A second-round contest.
Eighth-seeded Flintridge Prep (19-4) will next take on top-seeded Brentwood in a quarterfinal road game at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The Rebels got 15 points from Renae Tamura, 14 from Lacy Coan and 13 from Maya Okamoto to dispatch ninth-seeded Banning, which finished 18-10 and captured the Mountain Valley League title.
“We got exactly what we wanted and that was getting balanced scoring and pressing defensively to turn turnovers into points,” Flintridge Prep co-Coach Kevin Kiyomura said. “We were able to get a lot of points in the paint.
“We didn’t know too much about Banning. We were able to get them into a lot of foul trouble early.”
Flintridge Prep held a 24-11 halftime advantage.
“Renae, Lacy and Maya were able to take the ball to the basket,” said Kiyomura, whose team began the playoffs Thursday with a 50-44 home victory against unseeded Mission Prep. “We were able to spread those three out, giving us more opportunities to score.”
Coan, who scored 14 points against Mission Prep, said the Rebels looked to frustrate Banning from the opening tip-off.
“I think we realized that it would come down to us being able to press them early and we tried to fluster them,” Coan said. “We were able to get out to an early lead.
“It was nice to have a balanced scoring attack.”