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Flintridge Prep boys' basketball pulls away in second half

Flintridge Prep Rebels bounce back from slow start to defeat visiting Avalon, 69-48.

February 13, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Flintridge Prep's junior guard Robert Cartwright finished with a game-high 22 points for the Rebels.
Flintridge Prep's junior guard Robert Cartwright… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

LA CAÑADA — Things were tense in the Flintridge Prep boys' basketball team's corner at halftime of its CIF Southern Section Division V-AA opener against visiting Avalon Wednesday.

The second-seeded Rebels were playing far from their heavy-favorite status with a seven-point lead at halftime. They changed that and came out with plenty of intensity out of the break with defense leading to what wound up being a lopsided 69-48 victory for Prep.

The Rebels will now hit the road to face the winner of Wednesday’s Desert Christian-Providence High in the second round Friday.

“At halftime, us players kind of just talked amongst ourselves,” said Flintridge Prep point guard Robert Cartwright, who finished with a game-high 22 points. “We were very disappointed in the way we played. I’ll be very honest, I was very disappointed with my play and our team’s play.”

Cartwright and the Rebels made up for it in the second half. He hit a three-pointer 15 seconds into the third quarter to give Prep a 10-point lead, 37-27. He added two more buckets off steals and layups in a 32-second span to give Flintridge Prep a 41-30 advantage.

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Avalon was finally forced to call a timeout when the Rebels’ Jedrick Eugenio (12 points) poked a ball loose that was scooped up by Kyle Hamane and outletted to Chadd Cosse for an easy layin and 45-32 Rebels lead with 5:11 to play in the third.

“I don’t think overall we played that much better [in the second half],” said Cartwright, who had six steals, five assists and five rebounds in the game. “We just had to come out a little harder and that was it.”

Prep center Kareem Ismail, who sat all but 3:56 of the first half with two fouls, said the Rebels came out with no energy and expecting a win. A renewed defensive focus helped Flintridge Prep turn the game around for good.

“They only have two main players, we just had to focus on those two,” Ismail said of Avalon’s Edgar Alvarez and Gabe Hernandez and his team’s ability to force 13 steals in the second half. “They were running a flex cut, so we were just focusing on them.”

Ismail (14 points, five rebounds, three blocks) scored Prep’s next six points out of the timeout. Cartwright sent the home team into the final quarter with a comfortable 56-41 cushion when he drained a three from the corner with six ticks left in the frame.

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