Rebels come up short to second seed

With little time to savor its wild-card playoff victory, the Flintridge Prep boys' water polo team made a quick turnaround with a 260-mile round trip visit to the Coachella Valley on Wednesday afternoon.

Flintridge Prep ran into arguably the best team it's faced during the season, one in which Flintridge Prep Coach Dan Hare described as "a buzz saw."

Flintridge Prep yielded five man-advantage goals and five five-meter goals in a 21-6 loss against host Palm Desert in a CIF Southern Section Division V first-round contest.

"They have a lot of guns and are a very talented team," said Hare, whose team finished fourth in the Prep League and received an at-large berth before opening with an 8-6 wild-card home victory against California on Tuesday. "They were physically and fundamentally sound.

"We knew that it would be a tough turnaround having played [Tuesday] and then making the trip down there. We did our homework on them because they played some common opponents. We just ran into a buzz saw."

Palm Desert (22-8) held a 5-1 lead at the end of the first quarter and 13-2 halftime advantage. Palm Desert will meet host Hoover, which posted a 14-13 first-round road win against Walnut at Mount San Antonio College on Wednesday, on Saturday in a quarterfinal match at a time and place to be determined.

Making its first trip to the postseason since 2006, Flintridge Prep (15-12) received four goals from sophomore driver Ethan Vandeventer and one apiece from freshman driver Diego Delgado and sophomore hole/set Alex Blaine.

"We played our best and we are still developing," Vandeventer said. "We never gave up against a real good team.

"It's remarkable to see how far we've come along."

Having got a taste of the playoff experience, Hare said the Rebels are in position to move ahead next season with the majority of the team expected back.

"We had such a great last couple of weeks to this season with some quality wins," Hare said. "Our body of work was pretty good and then winning [Tuesday was great].

"Now, we want to try to challenge for the league title and go farther [in the playoffs] next season."

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