CIF Hoop Playoffs Underway

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

A high school basketball team plays roughly 25 regular-season games, with the goal making the CIF Southern Section playoffs. Once there, the competition is intense, and stacked with superb talent.
Last week, two of three Glendale/Foothill-area girls’ squads fared better than their male counterparts.
Flintridge Prep toyed with host Woodcrest Christian in a Division V-AA first-round contest, 62-28, Thursday, while the Crescenta Valley High girls’ team roughed up visiting West Covina, 50-34, in a Division I-A opening-round match.
For Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, the postseason wasn’t as kind, losing on the road to Twentynine Palms, 65-57, in a Division IV-A first-round affair.
On Friday, the host Rebels dropped a 71-69 decision to Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary in a Division V-AA second-round game, while St. Francis fell to No. 1 seed Bishop Montgomery, 67-59, in a Division IV-AA second-round battle.
The 10th-seeded Rebels (15-11) were paced by junior guard Megan Musashi, who scored 25 points, with five steals and six rebounds.
Flintridge Prep Head Coach Kenny Fisher has been at the controls since 1991, and was winless in three tries against Woodcrest Christian (10-14) in the playoffs.
Adding support were junior center Deanna Watson with 13 points, seven blocks and 12 rebounds, senior guard Alina Khodadian chimed in with 10 points, seven assists and five caroms, and junior guard Kelsey Merchant contributed five points for Flintridge Prep, which led at the intermission, 31-13.
Cassie Pappas poured in a game-high 22 points for the Falcons (20-8), but they had some difficulty scoring during a two-point third quarter. In that span, West Covina clawed its way to within 31-22 with about one minute left.
The Tologs (9-17) trailed by double-digits, and couldn’t recover, but sophomore guard Vanessa Romero had a strong effort, scoring a team-high 20 points with five rebounds, as did Stephanie Ramsden with 19 points and junior guard Amanda Erwin with 11 points. The closest FSHA got to Twentynine Palms (21-5) was four points in the final quarter.
Edmund Chow’s three-pointer with seconds left was off target for the Rebels, and Chris Perez‘s two free throws for Cantwell (17-12) was the difference.
Seven of Chow’s 19 points came in the fourth quarter, while sophomore center Kenyatta Smith was the game’s top point-producer with 24.
The Rebels (18-7) were down by 10 points at the half, but forged ahead, 68-63, with four minutes left. Smith added 12 points in the third quarter.
Point guard Malik Speed tallied 20 points for the Golden Knights (11-16), who inched within 63-57 when Speed scored a hoop with about a minute left. St. Francis fell behind, 11-9, after the first quarter, and trailed 36-23, at the half.
St. Francis junior guard Tommy Jordan tallied 15 points and six boards, while forward Dietrich Riley grabbed seven rebounds with six points.
Guards Justin Cobbs and Michael Panaggio each added 12 points for host Bishop Montgomery (24-3).

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