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Flintridge Prep basketball focuses on development in loss to Maranatha

Basketball: Cartwright leads group of youngsters with game-high 31 points, nine rebounds in 62-41 loss to Maranatha.

June 29, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Flintridge Prep's Robert Cartwright, right, scored a game-high 31 points in a 62-41 loss to Maranatha.
Flintridge Prep's Robert Cartwright, right, scored… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

LA CAÑADA —Maranatha High clearly held the advantage in size and experience when it took the court with the Flintridge Prep boys’ basketball team Saturday afternoon.

While the Minutemen were busy piecing together a group of talented new faces and transfers under first-year coach Tim Tucker, Rebels Coach Garrett Ohara used the game as a tryout of sorts for the varsity squad.

Only one of five Rebels set to return from last year’s group took the floor — Robert Cartwright — and the new-look Minutemen took advantage. Maranatha cruised to a 62-41 win at Flintridge Prep after essentially putting the game away with a 15-0 run to start the game.

“I like the nucleus of what we have. I think that we have a quality team and by November we’ll be ready to play with Price,” said Tucker, as Price was seeded second in the 2013 CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA playoffs and figures to be a juggernaut again in the Minutemen’s division in 2014. “They’re going to be up there, but we have a chance. … The guys we got in are pretty talented.”

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While Cartwright finished with a game-high 31 points and nine rebounds, it was nowhere near to enough. It was winning the battle of the boards that led Maranatha to taking the game, as it held a 46-27 edge inside.

“Robert has been in this whole tournament knowing some of these guys are trying to make varsity, so he’s trying to get them involved,” Ohara said of his point guard. “He’s got to realize these aren’t the same guys he’s been playing with and he’s got to have a good attitude.

“He’s shooting the ball more than normal, but that’s required for our team to have any kind of success. I think he’s realized he’s always got to be more of a scorer than a distributor and he’s shown good leadership with them.”

Maranatha was led by Crescenta Valley High transfer Nick Springer’s 15 points and 13 rebounds, Austin Barbato’s 17 points and six rebounds and Muusa Dama’s 10 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Dama, a 6-foot-8 transfer from Africa, will be integral to the Minutemen’s offensive and defensive system, as he has the ability to control the paint on both sides.

“Muusa’s getting better, as he gets better we’re going to get better because he allows us to do some things -- man-to-man and zone up,” Tucker said.

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