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Flintridge Prep boys' basketball hopes to follow championship path

Flintridge Prep Rebels matches up with Mission Prep once again in semifinals, the same team it knocked off en route to first CIF title in 2011.

February 21, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: Flintridge Prep's Robert Cartwright is leading the Rebels, averaging 23 points a game these playoffs.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Flintridge Prep's Robert Cartwright… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

Two years ago, the Flintridge Prep boys' basketball team had to go through Mission Prep in the CIF Southern Section Division V-AA semifinals before eventually capturing its first-ever championship.

So far, this postseason has played out similar to 2011 with Prep posting dominant victories at home in the first and quarterfinal rounds, on the road in the second round and hosting Mission Prep at La Cañada High in the semis.

“It’s actually shaped up exactly how it did two years ago,” Flintridge Prep guard Robert Cartwright said. “It’s almost a deja vu-type thing, but that doesn’t mean anything. They’re going to try and get some revenge on us. We just have to come out, play hard and hopefully get the victory and go onto the CIF championship.”

The second-seeded Rebels (22-5) will need to knock off the No. 3 Royals (22-7) to advance to their second Division V-AA title game in three years.

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“They kind of know what to expect from us and we generally know what to expect from them,” Cartwright said. “It’s going to be a very physical, tough game. We have to bring it from the beginning if we want to win.”

Flintridge Prep has defeated Mission Prep in its last three meetings since 2011. There was a 77-61 win in the regular season before the 86-72 victory about two months later in the semifinals two years ago. The Rebels will look to repeat that feat after knocking off the Royals, 61-47, on Jan. 19 this season.

“They’re strong kids, a few of them play football and we noticed how strong they were when we played against them the first time,” Flintridge Prep Coach Garrett Ohara said. “It should be a good battle; I don’t think there’s an advantage or disadvantage to having played them already.”

This year’s regular season meeting between the semifinal opponents wasn’t quite a true sample. The Royals were without 6-foot-5 forward Connor Woolpert, who’s nearly averaging a double-double this postseason.

Cartwright is leading the Rebels, averaging 23 points a game these playoffs, while center Kareem Ismail has put up 12 points and 8.3 boards a game in the last three games.

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