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Late shot sinks Rebels

Basketball: Flintridge Prep girls fall, 37-36, to Pilibos in Providence Tournament.

December 20, 2011|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

BURBANK — With Prep League play set to begin next month, Flintridge Prep girls' basketball Coach Todd Frost is looking for continued development until then.

Frost saw some progress made Tuesday afternoon, but a last-second shot sank the Rebels and left him with mixed emotions.

"It's December and we are still learning stuff," Frost said after Flintridge Prep suffered a 37-36 loss to Pilibos in a consolation quarterfinal game of the 15th annual Pioneer Shootout at Providence High. "I think we did a much better job in running our offense and being able to spread the ball around.

"We are getting better. We've got to work on some things still, but we want to be ready for league."

Pilibos saw junior guard Gareen Mehserdjian, a La Crescenta resident, make a 10-foot jump shot with 1.5 seconds left in the game to give the Eagles the lead. Flintridge Prep (3-5) had one final scoring opportunity following a timeout, but couldn't get off a clean shot near midcourt.

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Mehserdjian, who finished with a game-high 17 points, said she wasn't sure if her shot would be good when the ball left her hands.

"I was nervous [going into that shot] and I just tried to do the best I could," said Mehserdjian, who grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to help the Eagles improve to 4-2. "I thought it might be an air ball right when I shot it, but I knew I had to make the shot.

"I've never made a shot like that before at the end."

Frost, whose team qualified for the playoffs last season, said the Rebels left Mehserdjian uncovered in the waning seconds.

"When you leave anybody wide open like that, anybody can hit a shot," said Frost, whose team will meet Mayfield or La Reina in a consolation game at 11 a.m. today. "Give her credit for making that shot."

Flintridge Prep took a 36-35 lead on a shot by junior forward Kinsey Thompson with 1:01 left. With 9.8 seconds remaining, Flintridge Prep's Maya Okamoto missed the front end of a one-and-one, giving the Eagles another chance. The Eagles, who began the tournament Monday with a 42-30 loss against New Roads, called a timeout before Mehserdjian provided her late-game heroics.

The Rebels held a 20-10 halftime advantage, as Okamoto, a reigning all-league honoree, had five of her nine points in the first half.

Okamoto said Flintridge Prep, which opened the tournament Monday with a 47-27 loss against Immaculate Heart, played one of its better games.

"We knew we had to step it up and we did," Okamoto said. "I think we just ran out of gas toward the end.

"All we need is that extra push and we just have to keep our energy going."

Flintridge Prep received nine points and seven rebounds from Thompson and six points and four steals from senior guard Kimberly Kim.

Pilibos, which will meet La Reina or Mayfield in a consolation game at 2 p.m. today, got 16 points and three steals from sophomore guard Marina Istanboulian.

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