LA CAÑADA — Last season when Chadwick went on the road and played Flintridge Prep in girls’ basketball it was a tight affair, with the Rebels winning by the slim margin of four.
This season there would be no such dramatics.
Despite ragged play for significant periods of the contest, the Rebels kept the Dolphins at bay and secured a 56-43 win on Saturday evening in Prep League play.
“It probably wasn’t the prettiest [of games] because we didn’t do what we normally do,” Rebel captain Kaitlyn Chen said. “We normally share the ball and play as a team. I feel like we were able to pick it up just a little bit to get the win. As coach always says, ‘It’s OK, a win is a win.’”
One half of the coaching tandem of Jayme Chan and Kevin Kiyomura had a scholastic explanation for the evening’s results.
“Its finals week coming up next week,” Kiyomura said. “[Tonight I saw] a bunch of brain-dead basketball players trying to get things going and get things working. So it was hard to get any flow of the game.”
With the victory, Flintridge Prep (8-1, 4-0 in league) has now won 38 straight Prep League games. In addition, the Rebels, ranked No. 6 in the CIF Southern Section Division II-A, also extended their winning streak over Chadwick (2-1, 2-1) to 13 straight games.
Flintridge Prep came out strong in the opening quarter. After Dolphins Megan Dinnegan hit a three-pointer to begin the scoring, the hosts went on to score the next 18 points and would never trail again.
In the final minutes of the opening stanza, Dinnegan hit two more three-pointers, sandwiched around a long-ball from Chen, to make the score 21-9 at the end of the first.
Chen led all scorers with 22 points. The junior scored 15 in the first half, including eight in the second quarter, two more than the Dolphins’ total in the frame. Fellow junior Andie Kim dropped in 16 points and sophomore Sofia Gonzalez joined the pair of juniors in double digits with 11.
“[Chadwick was] staying home [on defense] and staying tight, making us shoot some outside shots,” Kiyomura said. “They weren’t falling tonight and that is difficult. Shooting 20 threes is probably not what we want to do.”
Nine of the Dolphins’ 16 made field goals came from beyond the arc. In both the first and third quarters, all of Chadwick’s points came on the long ball. Dinnegan had four three-pointers, all in the first half, and finished with 12 points. Chadwick was led in scoring by Alexis Lew with 13.
“We tell the girls to drive, but we know we have about three or four shooters on our team, so we tell them if it is open, take the shot,” Chadwick co-coach Monique Alexander said. “[We tell them] to have confidence in the shot and that is what they did.”
The Dolphins scored the first eight points of the second quarter to cut the lead to four. At that point, Chen made a high-degree-of-difficulty jumper from the baseline, immediately followed by a steal and lay-in to right the Rebels’ ship. Chadwick would win the quarter, 13-12, and the score at the break was 33-22.
After the break, Flintridge Prep’s cushion would never shrink below double digits. The advantage peaked in the final two minutes of the third when Kim made a three-pointer from the corner, increasing the advantage to 45-25. The Rebels doubled up Chadwick in the third, 12-6, allowing them to absorb Chadwick’s comeback attempt in the final quarter, which the visitors won, 15-11.
Flintridge Prep will take the court next Thursday, hosting a nonleague contest against Temple City. The Rebels will match up with Chadwick one more time this season, on Jan. 11 on the Dolphins’ home court.
“We’re definitely going to come in more focused,” Chen said of the upcoming games. “We need to learn how, when it is game time, just to snap into it, be in game mode, and be ready.”