Flintridge Prep girls' basketball can't topple top seed

BRENTWOOD — The Flintridge Prep girls’ basketball team stuck to its strategy against Brentwood in Wednesday’s CIF Southern Section Division IV-A quarterfinal contest.

The Rebels were aggressive on defense, limiting a talented Eagle squad to 18 first-half points.

Flintridge Prep was quick on loose balls, diving and hustling its way for extra possessions.

On offense, the Rebels got the looks they wanted, executing their plays for open shots.

But most of those shots didn’t go in.

The Rebels struggled from the field in their bid to upset the top-seeded team in the division.

Brentwood took advantage of Flintridge Prep’s offensive woes, running away in the second half for a 53-37 win at home.

“We spread them out,” Flintridge Prep co-Coach Kevin Kiyomura said. “We got a lot of good looks. We just couldn’t make them.”

Flintridge Prep (19-5) was 15 of 62 (24.2%) from the field, including just two of 21 (9.5%) from three-point territory. The Rebels missed their first 12 three-pointers before senior captain Maya Okamoto made a three-pointer with 1:26 to play in the third quarter.

By the time Okamoto, who finished with nine points, hit the three, Brentwood (23-7) had already outscored the Rebels, 19-9, in the quarter.

After struggling from the field in the opening half, Brentwood had 22 points in the third quarter, as it led by as many as 15.

“We had some defensive lapses,” Kiyomura said.

That wasn’t the case in the first half.

Flintridge Prep frustrated the Eagles in the opening half with its tenacity and hustle, leading by one late in the first quarter.

The Rebels drew two first-quarter fouls from returning All-CIF selection Kennedy Martin of Brentwood and a second foul from starting point guard Drew Cabral early in the second quarter.

With Martin and Cabral playing a combined 12 minutes in the first half, the Rebels stayed close to Brentwood, trailing, 18-13, at the half, despite making just five shots.

In the third quarter, the Rebels continued to limit Martin’s opportunities in the post and Cabral’s drives to the basket.

They couldn’t stop Sammy Schlessel of Brentwood, though.

The senior, who hit three three-pointers in the first half, made three three-pointers in the third quarter, all within the first four minutes. Her last three-pointer gave Brentwood a 32-18 lead with 4:38 remaining in the quarter. Schlessel finished with 18 points, Martin had 12 and Cabral was limited to four.

“We were so conscious of the bigs inside that we lost sight of [Schlessel],” Kiyomura said. “We knew on the road that the defense was going to keep us in the game and it did. But it’s tough to keep it going when you’re not making shots.”

Brentwood displayed its depth in the second half, as Dani Shapiro and Maylene Cabral each had six second-half points to finish with eight apiece.

The Rebels didn’t have much depth, as they were missing two key players due to injuries in Tyler Faulkner (ankle) and Ani Pridjian (knee).

Renae Tamura led the Rebels with 11 points, and Tala Ismail added eight.

Tamura and Ismail are two of the eight Rebels who will return next season as the Rebels will look to defend their co-Prep League title.

Said Kiyomura: “I am proud of the girls. They had a successful season.”

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World