It’s expected to be a huge week for the Flintridge Prep boys’ basketball team, which will face a pair of top-ranked teams.
The Rebels relish the opportunities at hand.
Flintridge Prep’s first test came Monday evening, when it met South Pasadena, the top-ranked squad in CIF Southern Section Division IV-A.
Flintridge Prep passed its first challenge, as Kevin Ashworth finished with a team-high 20 points and three steals to propel host Flintrtidge Prep to a 50-46 overtime win against South Pasadena.
“It’s a chance to go play some great teams and we wanted to show we could play tough, even though we are a pretty young team,” said Ashworth, who had 12 second-half points. “We’re starting to come together and you try to build off of games like that.
“I felt locked in mentally in the second half and then we had guys step up in the overtime.”
Flintridge Prep (4-8) and South Pasadena (11-3) were tied at 44 at the end of the fourth quarter.
Matthew Ho made two free throws to give the Rebels a 48-46 lead with 48.4 seconds left in the four-minute overtime session.
South Pasadena’s Billy Reed III, who finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, missed a short shot with four seconds left.
Flintridge Prep’s Jake Woo was then fouled and converted on two free-throw attempts to close out the scoring with 2.5 seconds to go.
“South Pasadena is a very good team and they deserve the accolades and identification,” said Flintridge Prep first-year coach Ramses Barden, a former Rebels player whose team will begin Prep League play Friday at Providence, the top-ranked team in Division III-AA and the defending league champion. “I’m just really proud of our effort tonight and I’m seeing increments of improvement from game to game.
“Our guys have that will and trust each other. It starts with consistency on the court. We had a lot of different guys step up tonight.”
Ashworth made two three-pointers in less than a minute midway through the fourth quarter. His second three-pointer gave the Rebels a 44-39 lead with 3:13 left in regulation.
South Pasadena, which competes in the Rio Hondo League, closed out the fourth quarter on a 5-0 run. The Tigers tied it at 44 on a basket by Preston Sharkey with 33 seconds remaining.
“We felt good going into overtime,” said South Pasadena first-year coach Ernest Basketville, who coached last season at Burbank and also coached at Providence. “We had four or five turnovers in the overtime and we just didn’t take care of the ball.
“Our guys looked at MaxPreps and they played off of Flintridge Prep’s record. Flintridge Prep played hard and we didn’t. We played poorly today.”
Flintridge Prep received 13 points from Ho and six points and six steals from Zach Kim.
South Pasadena got nine points and eight rebounds from Rodney Ortega.