Flintridge Prep boys' basketball comes out strong

Some discontent with its performance in its playoff opener proved to be a good thing for the Flintridge Prep boys' basketball team in the second round Friday night.

The Rebels excelled on both sides of the ball en route to a 67-47 road victory over Desert Christian in their second game of the CIF Southern Section Division V-AA playoffs.

Flintridge Prep still posted a sizable 69-48 win over Avalon in the first round Wednesday, but only led 34-27 at half after a poor start to the game defensively.

“That kind of fueled them, being on the road and knowing they can’t afford a slow start,” said Flintridge Prep Coach Garrett Ohara of the impact of Wednesday’s game. “They played tremendously well on both ends.”

Second-seeded Flintridge Prep (21-5) will host the winner of Friday’s Santa Clara-Linfield Christian game in the quarterfinals Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The tone was set offensively by the Rebels, who outscored the Knights, 27-13, in the first quarter on Friday. Their defense did the talking in the second frame, as they held the home team to seven points over eight minutes to go into halftime up, 41-20.

“We were up from the get-go,” Ohara said. “We jumped on them early.”

Point guard Robert Cartwright led the way again for Prep with 21 points in the first half and 27 in the game, while he sat most of the second half along with most of Flintridge Prep’s starters. Kareem Ismail also logged 10 points and seven rebounds.

“We could have won by 35, but we were giving guys minutes, you know,” Ohara said.

It was the defense Ohara was most excited about. The Knights (17-9) came into the game with four players averaging double-digit points, but they were all shut down in the first half.

Prep guard Kyle Hamane held his man to one basket in the first 16 minutes. Chadd Cosse also provided lock-down defense, keeping Desert Christian’s top scorer to three points in the first two quarters. Cartwright also held his assignment to two points over that span.

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