Flintridge Prep girls' basketball nabs No. 4 seed

A season ago, the Flintridge Prep girls’ basketball team went 7-18 and received a surprising at-large bid into the playoffs.

Thus, the turnaround orchestrated by first-year co-coaches Kevin Kiyomura and Jayme Kiyomura-Chan has been rather impressive. Evidence to that came Sunday, when the Rebels, after posting a 16-7 record and a second-place finish in the Prep League, were granted the No. 4 seed in the CIF Southern Section Division 5-AA playoffs.

“I’m very happy,” said Kiyomura, whose team will host California Military in Thursday’s first round at 7 p.m. “Granted, we don’t know a whole lot about California Military, but we’re really excited about getting in [to the playoffs] and getting a legitimate seed.”

Also joining Prep in the playoffs will be Glendale and Holy Family.

Coach Tania Adary’s Nitros took fourth in the Pacific League and will travel to face fourth-seeded Newbury Park in the first round of Division I-A play on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Glendale went 15-10 and will look to upset a Newbury Park squad that won the Marmonte League with an undefeated 14-0 mark and overall 22-4 record. Should the Nitros advance, they would play either El Rancho or Aliso Niguel.

“Same old story, headed in the same direction,” said Glendale Coach Tania Adary, whose team lost in the first round to Buena of Ventura in each of its last two playoff appearances. “I’m just hoping it’s a different outcome.”

Glendale has been streaky through the season and is riding a three-game winning streak into the playoffs after recovering from a three-game losing streak. Adary is hoping her team’s momentum and focus will carry into the postseason.

“Honestly, it’s just the whole consistency thing [that will determine if they’re ready],” she said. “I’m thinking they’re gonna be focused – I’m hoping.”

Prep (16-7) hosts a California Military team on Thursday that took second in the Warrior League.

The winner advances to Saturday’s second round against either Desert Christian or Hamilton.

Prep is coming off a 1-2 stretch in which it lost twice to league champion Pasadena Poly and narrowly defeated Westridge, the 11th-ranked squad in 4-A. But Kiyomura believes the stiff competition could well pay dividends.

“Looking back, that was probably the best way to ramp up going into the playoffs,” Kiyomura said. “I do believe the girls are pretty excited about playoffs.”

Down in Division 5-A, after a third-place finish in the Horizon League, Holy Family drew the 15th seed, but will travel to Canoga Park to face Armenian General Benevolent Union, the second seed on Saturday.

“As a third-place team out of our league, we expected a really good team and obviously AGBU is a really good team,” said Holy Family Coach Ernest Siy.

Holy Family’s chances are daunting, as it lost to Providence, 51-16, and AGBU defeated Providence, 42-36.

“On paper it looks troubling, but we’re gonna go in and give it all we’ve got,” Siy said.

AGBU shared the Westside League title and sports a 12-6 mark, while the Gaels struggled to a 7-11 overall mark, but its 4-4 league record was good enough for third and a playoff berth after winning three straight to end the year.

The winner will advance to Wednesday’s quarterfinals and will face either Ribet Academy or a wild-card team.

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