Rebels turn back Prep League rival Mayfield in summer finale

SOUTH PASADENA — No matter the season, there's a chance the Flintridge Prep and Mayfield girls' basketball teams will be pitted against each other.

The Rebels and Cubs meet twice between January and February in Prep League games. It turned out the teams would battle Wednesday night in their summer finales.

Flintridge Prep received a game-high 11 points from Tala Ismail to help the Rebels post a 31-15 victory against Mayfield in a South Pasadena High Summer League game.

"I think it's good to play a league foe [in the summer]," said first-year Flintridge Prep co-Coach Kevin Kiyomura, who got six points apiece from Kinzie Thompson and Grace Cha. "It's a good test simply about what you will probably face [during the regular season], and what you need to work on.

"It's a good way to judge where you are and what you need to work on."

Mayfield Coach Kevin Yamamoto had a different perspective on playing a league rival during the summer.

"You always like to see other teams [outside of league] because that's where you learn the most," said Yamamoto, who got a team-high 10 points from Melissa Venegas.

Flintridge Prep took a 13-0 lead on a jump shot by Cha with 8:56 left in the first half. Mayfield which competed with only six players, missed its first 10 shots before Venegas made a three-pointer to pull the Cubs to within 13-3 with 6:50 remaining.

Flintridge Prep held a 19-5 halftime lead. Ismail opened the scoring on the first possession of the second half on a driving layup to make it 21-5.

Kiyomura, who will share the coaching responsibilities with Jayme Kiyomura Chan in place of Todd Frost, said Ismail and Thompson figure to be big parts of the team's mix next season.

"They will definitely be huge to our team," Kiyomura said. "The plan [Wednesday] was for Kinzie to set the tone early in the first half and she did.

"We've asked Tala to get more involved and she's learning how to. They make up a good foundation."

Venegas grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a layup to cut Flintridge Prep's lead to 26-10 with 5:06 remaining.

Yamamoto and Kiyomura said they observed some strengths and weaknesses with their respective teams.

"We've got to work on our spacing and learn where we have to go while going to the net," Yamamoto said. "We also need to work more on our shooting, but I liked the way we jelled the last few games and came together on the court."

Kiyomura said the Rebels established some consistency, particularly in the last few summer games.

"You can see the confidence in their games and their abilities," Kiyomura said. "There communication has improved and they are now more vocal.

"They trust each other a lot more."

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