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Lancers melt Rebels in fourth quarter

Basketball: Prep sees back-and-forth game turn to one-sided lose, 73-60, against La Salle Wednesday.

January 04, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

PASADENA — The final score won't accurately reflect how close the Flintridge Prep and La Salle boys' basketball game was Wednesday.

A huge fourth quarter from the Lancers turned a back-and-fourth game into a one-sided win, as they turned a two-point edge heading into the fourth quarter into a 73-60 home victory over the Rebels.

“Our defense certainly broke down,” said Flintridge Prep Coach Garrett Ohara, explaining the fourth-quarter collapse. “We had too many turnovers that gave them too many open shots. They had a couple of threes in that period and some wide-open looks got to some of their better shooters.”

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There wasn't much between both teams in the first three quarters. The lead changed hands 17 times and there were five ties in the first 24 minutes of the contest. Neither team enjoyed a lead greater than five points until the fourth quarter.

“We just took care of the ball better and took good shots, sometimes we struggle with that,” La Salle Coach Steve Goldstein said of his team's fourth-quarter performance. “We rebounded today better than we have all year and we hit free throws down the stretch.

“I thought we played our best fourth quarter and best game of the year. They're a good team so I am pretty happy with our performance today.”

La Salle set the stage for its big fourth quarter late in the third after a three-pointer from Prep's Kory Hamane put the Rebels up, 47-45, with just over a minute remaining. The Lancers closed the quarter out with a 4-0 run to take a 49-47 lead into the final quarter, thanks to a buzzer-beating corner jumper from Steffen Ghantous.

Ghantous picked back up where he left off and hit a three to open the fourth, increasing the lead to 52-47. Prep's Robert Cartwright (12 points) answered with a three of his own to cut the lead to two points.

Ghantous nailed another from behind the arc two possessions later to give his team the largest lead of the game to that point (56-50) with 6:07 remaining. The home crowd was silenced on Prep's next trip up the floor as Hamane hit another three. The Lancers brought their fans back to their feet with an ensuing 9-2 run to go up 65-55 with 2:58 left.

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