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Rebels stopped by host Valiants

Basketball: Flintridge Prep girls fall to eighth-seeded St. Genevieve in opening-round playoff contest Thursday night.

February 16, 2012|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

PANORAMA CITY — The Flintridge Prep girls' basketball team took 53 shots from the floor during its CIF Southern Section Division V-AA first-round match against St. Genevieve on Thursday night.

Unfortunately for the Rebels, they only made nine.

"We had some good looks, but we didn't knock many of them down," Flintridge Prep Coach Todd Frost said after visiting Flintridge Prep fell, 50-37, in a contest that featured 44 fouls. "We took shots before we were ready.

"If you are going to beat a seeded team on the road, then you've got to hit your shots."

Flintridge Pep (7-18) never led against eighth-seeded St. Genevieve, which finished third in the Santa Cruz League. The Valiants, who will meet ninth-seeded Aquinas or Bishop Union in a second-round game Saturday, received 11 points from Rachel Villasista to eliminate a Flintridge Prep squad that finished fourth in the Prep League and received an at-large berth.

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The Rebels appeared a bit nervous right from the opening tip.

"It was just hard for us to get going," said sophomore guard Maya Okamoto, who finished with 14 of her game-high 15 points in the second half. "I even took a few shots when I was out of rhythm.

"We tried our hardest until the end. I think we've got the foundation of the team set, so we want to built on it for next year."

St. Genevieve (17-5) held an 11-2 lead after the first quarter and extended its advantage to 31-12 at halftime. The Rebels made two of 28 shots in the first half.

"That's a big part as to why we lost," Frost said. "I want them to learn from this experience.

"I want them to get the experience of playing in a playoff game. That's why I petitioned [for an at-large berth]. The idea was for us to grow and get better. Now, we want to continue moving forward."

Flintridge Prep's first basket came when Kimberly Kim made a jump shot to bring the Rebels to within 18-7 with 5:22 left in the second quarter.

A three-pointer by Okamoto helped Flintridge Prep cut the deficit to 31-18 with 6:10 remaining in the third quarter. However, the Valiants closed out the third quarter on a 10-4 run to make it 41-22.

Villasista finished with 11 first-half points. Teammate Mariah Contreras collected 10 points, seven rebounds and four steals and Jasmin Bennet registered nine rebounds.

Frost said the Rebels, who got six points from Kim, battled despite trailing by double-digits throughout most of the contest.

"It's not like we played bad," said Frost, who got four points apiece from Grace Cha and Kinsey Thompson. "We are still a pretty young team."

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