LA CAÑADA — Playing its fourth game in a week and the second in consecutive days, there was a chance that the Flintridge Prep girls’ basketball team may have lacked energy for its Prep League showdown with Rio Hondo at home on Friday.
However, the Rebels didn't have to look far for motivation, considering the importance of the game and the fact that they were out for some payback.
“We wanted to get revenge because they beat us last time, so that kind of fueled us,” said Flintridge Prep junior Lacy Coan. “This week we've just been working really hard and we wanted to continue with how well we've been doing, so I think we pulled our energy from that.”
It equated to the Rebels defeating the Kares, 57-50.
The win improved Flintridge Prep to 15-4 overall and 8-2 in league, while Rio Hondo fell to 12-8, 7-5.
The Rebels avenged a 56-51 defeat at the hands of the Kares on Jan. 30.
Coan, who led her team with 19 points to go with nine rebounds on Friday, said the difference between the games was boxing out and being aggressive.
“We knew what to expect and we changed what we had done before,” Coan said.
Flintridge Prep put on a defensive clinic in the first half, holding Rio Hondo to seven points in the first quarter and nine in the second. The Rebels took a 24-16 lead into halftime.
“That's been our focal point all season and it's kind of our identity,” said Flintridge Prep co-Coach Kevin Kiyomura. “We play defense first and that sets up our offense. Usually whenever we get our defense going our offense follows.”
The Rebels extended their lead to 10 midway through the third period, but the Kares made a run. After back-to-back Rio Hondo three-pointers, Flintridge Prep clung to a 33-29 advantage.
“We were getting the shots that we want, they just weren't going in,” Kiyomura said. “You know once our shots start to go down, the lead should start increasing.”
That would be as close as the Kares would get. The Rebels went up by as much as 12 at 49-37 in cruising to victory.
Tala Ismail added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Rebels.
Rio Hondo was paced by Alexis Parker with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Flintridge Prep has now won four consecutive games and has locked up second in the Prep League.
“We knew that if we lost we would potentially tie for second in league, and we didn't want to do that,” Coan said. “That definitely fueled us.”