Rebels garner No. 1 seed

February 13, 2011|By Grant Gordon

GLENDALE - In all his seasons of constructing a successful boys’ basketball program at Flintridge Prep, Rebels Coach Garrett O’Hara has never had a team bestowed the No. 1 seed entering the CIF playoffs.

That changed on Sunday when Ohara’s Rebels were unveiled as the top seed in the CIF Southern Section Division 5-AA playoffs as one of a handful of locals to receive favorable first-round draws.

Crescenta Valley will host Quartz Hill as the seventh seed in the Division 1-A tournament, Renaissance Academy welcomes Calvary Chapel as the No. 5 seed in Division 5-A, while Glendale takes to the road to face No. 12 Simi Valley in Division 2-AA, No. 10 St. Francis faces host Sierra Vista in Division 4-AA and Prep prepares for St. Paul. All first-round games are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday.


“It’s nice to have,” said Ohara of his Rebels, who are 19-5 and shared the Prep League title, garnering the division’s top seed. “We’re embracing it, it’s nice to be the No. 1, but it doesn’t win any games.”

With his Rebels on the heels of a disappointing loss in last season’s CIF first round to Santa Clara despite owning the No. 4 seed and further reminded of first-round woes with an opponent in St. Paul that defeated them in the opening round of the 2008 tournament, Ohara has already stressed to his Rebels not looking past the 6-20 Swordsmen.

“That’s exactly what I told them,” said Ohara, who, despite his team having lost two of its last four is confident of where it’s headed. “I’m very happy with where we are. Even though we lost those games, it doesn’t mean we’re not playing well. … We’re healthy, we’re playing well, we’re mentally ready.”

Should the Rebels advance, they would face either Whitney or Linfield Christian on Friday at a site to be determined.

Like Ohara, Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian and his Falcons are reminded of past playoff losses and taking the “one-game-at-a-time” approach as they enter the playoffs.

The Falcons (20-7) will host Quartz Hill (11-15), a Golden League at-large entrant. The winner will face either Walnut or 10th-seeded Tesoro, the latter having eliminated the Falcons in last year’s playoffs.

“Our motto all season, even league, has been one game at a time,” Zargarian said. “That’s the mentality we’ll go into this game with.”

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