SOUTH PASADENA — For Flintridge Prep's girls' basketball Coach Todd Frost, the team's early season woes don't necessarily foreshadow anything moving forward, rather they're positive motivation to improve.
The Rebels dropped their second consecutive game in the San Gabriel Valley Classic — the squad's first tournament of the season — being outscored by a combined total of 95 points by opponents Diamond Ranch on Monday night and more recently El Segundo, which had little trouble getting by the Rebels, 68-24, on Tuesday night at South Pasadena High.
"It's early in the season," said Frost, who guided the Rebels to the playoffs last year after placing fourth in the Prep League. "This is how they get better when it comes to league play."
Frost's starting five have varsity experience, whereas the bench is mostly inexperienced.
On Tuesday night, El Segundo had its way throughout, leading the entire way. Still, Flintridge Prep's starters proved to be more capable of beating the Eagles full-court press, moving the ball and getting field goal attempts than the younger bench players who are, for the most part, seeing their first minutes of playing time at the varsity level.
The Rebels (0-2) kept it close early, trailing, 10-8, midway through the first quarter before turnovers and poor defense plagued Flintridge Prep, allowing the Eagles (1-0) to finish the half on a 32-1 run for a 42-9 halftime lead.
Just as in the early minutes of the contest, the Rebels came out for the third quarter with confidence, scoring eight unanswered points and prompting an El Segundo timeout.
The two teams combined to score 20 third-quarter points. El Segundo's Lauren Sato ended whatever momentum the Rebels mustered up, drilling three from behind the arc on consecutive possessions to give her nine of her game-high 25 points.
After Flintridge Prep's Maya Okamoto's three-pointer followed Kimberly Kim's five quick points in the early stages of the third, the Rebels failed to score until late in the fourth quarter, where Katherine Bogaard connected on a three-pointer. The junior guard scored the team's final seven points.
The Rebels scored 18 of their 23 points from three-point range — something Frost expects to continue all season long.
"We're a strong shooting team when we get open looks," said Frost who received a team-high 10 points from Bogaard.
Flintridge Prep will continue play in the San Gabriel Valley Classic on Friday and Saturday.
"We need to play with poise and intensity," Frost said. "We sorta lose that a little bit."