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Flintridge Prep boys' basketball finds going tough in loss to Minutemen

Basketball: Missing key players, Flintridge Prep falls to visiting Maranatha, 74-50.

January 03, 2014|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com

LA CAÑADA — If injuries weren't enough of an issue for the short-handed Flintridge Prep boys' basketball team, then the size of visiting Maranatha certainly proved a hurdle too tall to climb.

The new-look Minutemen, under the direction of former longtime Pasadena High Coach Tim Tucker, leaned on 6-foot-9 center Muusa Dama, 6-6 power forward Ron Gore and 6-5 small forward Nick Springer to outreach and outrebound the Rebels en route to a 74-50 nonleague victory Friday evening.

"They obviously have a great advantage inside and we fought and we battled and we stayed close in the first half," Rebels Coach Garrett Ohara said. "But then Nick came back from foul trouble and they built a lead and we couldn't stay close."

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The Minutemen (6-8) led, 36-27, at the half and immediately took a double digit advantage on an inside basket from Gore (16 points and 14 rebounds) to go up 11.

Flintridge Prep (3-7) countered on its next possession with a three-pointer from Scott Tsangeos off a kick-out assist from Andrew Tsangeos to close within eight.

The deficit remained at eight until the Minutemen broke open a 40-32 advantage with a 15-0 run started on back-to-back three-pointers from Springer.

The senior transfer from Crescenta Valley High played minimal minutes in the first half after picking up three fouls by the 7:42 mark in the second quarter.

Yet, Springer made an instant impact in scoring six points and then picking off a pass and leading a fast break that resulted in a layup from Teuie Williams (nine points) with 5:19 left that gave the Minutemen a 49-32 advantage.

"Coach wasn't happy with our effort in the first half, especially our defense," said Springer, who finished with nine points and three assists and was playing with an injured thumb. "He threatened us with a 9 a.m. practice [Saturday], so we responded and played the way we should have been playing."

Maranatha's lead eventually hit 55-32 with 4:04 remaining before the Rebels broke the streak with a jumper from Scott Tsangeos (10 points) off another assist from Andrew Tsangeos (nine points) with 2:19 left, which also snapped a Rebels' 4:01 scoring drought.

Eventually, the Rebels trailed 60-37 after three quarters.

Perhaps it's fair to say Flintridge Prep made its last stand early in the fourth as the home team scored the period's first six points capped on a layup from Stefan Smith off an assist from Scott Tsangeos, which brought the Rebels within 61-42 with 6:57 remaining.

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