BURBANK — Once his players step out on to the court, Flintridge Prep girls' basketball Coach Todd Frost isn't sure what he's going to see.
Once thing is for certain — he's not used to seeing his team lose by large margins. Unfortunately for Frost, it's been customary throughout the first three weeks of the season.
"It's hard to know because we are such a young team," Frost said after Flintridge Prep was handed a 52-21 loss by Village Christian on Monday in an opening-round contest of the 14th annual Pioneer Shootout at Providence High. "I just don't know what to expect play to play and quarter to quarter."
Frost couldn't have liked what he saw Monday. Flintridge Prep (2-5) made only one field goal in the first half and trailed, 12-1, after the first quarter and 27-5 at the intermission. In fact, the Rebels made only six shots from the floor in the entire contest.
Flintridge Prep, which advanced to the quarterfinals last season before seeing top players Megan Musashi, Deanna Watson and Kelsey Merchant graduate, are now in a transition season. That's at least afforded Frost time early in the season to find suitable lineup combinations and iron out the kinks before the start of Prep League in early January.
On Monday, Frost said the Rebels weren't prepared for Village Christian (4-1).
"There's a million reasons to speculate why we weren't ready," said Frost, whose team will face defending tournament champion Crossroads in a consolation contest at 9:30 a.m. today. "We had no energy at the beginning and we didn't come ready to play.
"Big teams like Village Christian give us fits and we had too many turnovers in the beginning."
The Rebels missed all six of their shots in the first quarter and had six turnovers against the athletic Crusaders, who controlled both boards and had little trouble penetrating about the Rebels' inexperienced cast.
A three-point play by Village Christian's Chyna Cotangco made it 15-1 with 7:44 left in the second quarter. Flintridge Prep made its first shot from the floor when Kimberly Kim made a jump shot to narrow the deficit to 17-3 with 6:06 left in the first half.
Village Christian, who will meet Ramona Convent in a winner's-bracket game at 2 p.m. today, took a 34-5 lead on a three-point play by Samantha Pyros with 6:54 left in the third quarter. Flintridge Prep's first basket in the second half came with 3:20 remaining in the third quarter. A steal and an layup by Maya Okamoto made it 42-9.
Okamoto paced the Rebels with a team-best seven points. Kristin Shum contributed four points and five rebounds for Flintridge Prep, which also received five rebounds and two steals from Kim.
Village Christian got 11 points, 10 rebounds and four teals from Pyros and 11 points from Cotangco.