From Staff Reports: Flintridge Prep had a few things working against them Saturday night, or some might have thought. They had to travel to Cypress to take on top-seeded Oxford Academy, and on the Patriots own floor. The Rebels were facing a team that entered the game 27-1, and they hadn’t lost since December 27. […]
From Staff Reports:
Flintridge Prep had a few things working against them Saturday night, or some might have thought.
They had to travel to Cypress to take on top-seeded Oxford Academy, and on the Patriots own floor.
The Rebels were facing a team that entered the game 27-1, and they hadn’t lost since December 27.
The biggest challenge of all, though, was that of trying to contain a 6-foot-2 stud named Austyn Masuno, who averages 22 points and 12 rebounds per game.
But have no fear, coach Kevin Kiyomura drew up a blueprint to victory and it played out as well as anyone could have hoped.
Prep put 5-foot-8 Maddy Manning all game long on the 6’2″ Masuno and the Rebels junior held Masuno to just 13 points.
Flintridge Prep trailed by 9 points at the half, but the Rebels defense smothered the Patriots in the second half and held Oxford Academy to just 10 second-half points.
It added up to a 45-40 victory in the CIF-SS Division 3A semifinals.
Kaitlyn Chen led all scorers with 20 points and Sofia Gonzalez had 10.
Alex Kyriakakis added 7 points and 11 rebounds.
Andie Kim and Maddy Manning each contributed 4 points apiece.
Angie Gagnon scored 9 points for Oxford Academy and both Angie Choi and Sophia Chan chipped in 6 points each for the Patriots.
Flintridge Prep will take on Beverly Hills next weekend and with a time and location to be decided the CIF Southern Section.
The Normans (23-5) defeated Saugus, 48-44, in the other Division 3A semifinal on Saturday night.
Flintridge Prep co-head coach Jayme Kiyomura-Chan: “So many people stepped up in so many ways. Coach Kevin (Kiyomura) drew up a crazy game plan to not let Austyn Masuno beat us. It was rough in the first half. Their guards hit a lot of shots in the first half and we were down 9. But we stuck with our game plan and the well kind of ran dry on their outside shooting. We knew their bread and butter was Masuno, and we held her to 13.”
Prep sophomore Kaitlyn Chen: “Our mind set was that we weren’t going to be denied. It was a team effort to stop Masuno. Our coach’s game plan was really effective. Our coaches did a great job. I just had to come out and give it everything I had. I was amazed and happy. This is the best feeling I’ve had so far (in my high school career).”
Prep freshman Sofia Gonzalez: “The game of basketball is in your mind. You have to believe you’re going to play well and we all had the same mentality even though we were down at halftime. I wasn’t concerned at half time, because it was such an important game to do our best. Whether it’s home or away, you have to stick to your game plan. We played hard defense and denied the pass in the post. His (Kiyomura’s) game plan was responsible for the win.”
Prep sophomore Alex Kyriakakis: “I think we all fed off of each other’s energy and motivated each other. My job was to rally everybody and we knew we had it in us and we had to bring it out. I felt we were in control for most of the game because we all stuck together. Our defense locked it down. We really focused on defense. A lot of credit to our coaches and their game plan. Maddy’s defense on Austyn was amazing. We cut off their passing lanes and it never looked open for them. We’ve always stressed that we play for each other. The life lesson is that team outweighs the individual.”
Prep sophomore Andie Kim: “A lot of us this can be credited to our execution and the excellent game plan our coach gave us. We took away Austyn which was critical and we secured rebounds. We had a lot of confidence Maddy could do the job and she did an excellent job. I felt super confident we could turn this around. We took them out of their comfort zone. My job was to take care of the basketball and defending. I am really proud of how we played as a team. Everyone was supportive of each other.”
Prep junior Madison Manning: “This whole year, we’ve been a pretty goofy team and kept it light. On the way there, we were joking. I was nervous, but I didn’t want to build up too much emotion. We had a good game plan. At half time, we came off the court and were confident— even though our plan wasn’t working as much as we wanted, we knew their shots would stop falling. My role was to shut down their big and make her feel uncomfortable– not letting her get the ball easily and making her use her off-hand.”
Flintridge Prep (24-5); Oxford Academy (27-2)