Prep and Renaissance Advance

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Flintridge Prep, Renaissance Academy and St. Francis High all played CIF Southern Section second-round playoff games last Friday, but only the Rebels and Wildcats advanced.

After a tepid start, Prep performed at a break-neck pace in the second half of its Division V-AA encounter with host Whitney, and won, 75-46, while visiting Renaissance met little resistance during its 56-40 triumph over Mary Star of the Sea in a V-A clash. Host St. Francis was handed a 66-54 setback by Northview in a IV-AA battle.

Harvard University-bound center Kenyatta Smith, as usual, was formidable, scoring 18 points with seven blocks and 15 rebounds for the Rebels.

Prep had a tough time locating the hoop in the first quarter, but settled down and played like the top-seeded team.

Missing seven of 11 shots from the field in the opening quarter, the Rebels fell behind to the No. 16 seeded Mustangs (17-12), but came alive in the second quarter, eventually pulling in front, 33-23, at the intermission.

Jedrick Eugenio tallied 18 points and Jared Norsworthy added 15 points with three blocks for Prep, which beat St. Paul in the opening round by 36 points. Ted Kim scored 14 points for Whitney and Greg Amalu had 13.

Jess Cantinol’s star shined bright for the No. 5 seeded Wildcats (22-6), dropping in 14 points, while Troy Fontanilla contributed 10, and Anthony Cost nine.

Renaissance led by a dozen at the half, and its foot speed was crucial during this stretch, with many of the Wildcats’ points coming off transition.

Mary Star of the Sea (12-16) played somewhat decent in the first half, but faltered in the second half, with a 7-0 run proving vital and helping Renaissance build its lead to 16 points about midway through the final quarter.

St. Francis held a three-point advantage with just under six minutes left in the fourth quarter, but was outscored 13-1 over the latter minutes.

Northview’s Treavon Francis was nearly unstoppable, scoring a game-best 29 points. Francis was a beast at the free-throw line, converting 10, and pulled down 10 boards with three blocked shots.

Emerson Castaneda paced St. Francis (11-17) with 17 points, and hit three three-pointers in the opening half and had 15 points. Sevan Zarifian added 13 for the Golden Knights.

Brian Johnson finished with 11 points and collected 11 rebounds for the Vikings (23-6), who were ahead, 19-17, after one quarter and nine points at the half.

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