It’s the goal of every high school team to reach the finals, and ultimately capture the championship.
The Flintridge Prep boys’ basketball squad did just that with an 86-72 victory over Mission Prep in a CIF Southern Section Division V-AA semifinal game last Friday at La Canada High.
All season long, center Kenyatta Smith has been the Rebels’ best and most-reliable player.
Not one to disappoint, Smith, who will be headed for Harvard University in the fall, scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.
Jedrick Eugenio had 18 points and Kory Hamane added 16 for the Rebels (22-6), who have marched to the finals for the second time since 2004, and will face No. 3 seeded Muir Friday or Saturday at Mater Dei.
Eugenio drained three three-pointers to get the top-seeded Rebels off on the right foot, with the last trey giving Flintridge Prep a 13-8 lead and four minutes left in the first quarter. Eugenio scored 11 points in the quarter.
Robert Cartwright had 13 points, and Jared Norsworthy 12 points, seven in the opening frame, and his hoop in the paint gave the Rebels a 12-point edge after the first eight minutes.
Flintridge Prep jumped to a 14-point lead after two quarters behind a stout defense that blanked Mission Prep (18-11) for nearly four minutes of the second quarter.
A 28-point third quarter put the contest out of reach, with Smith scoring 10 points and pulling down seven caroms as the Rebels held a 65-38 advantage.
Hamane scored nine points in the third quarter, with all of them coming via three pointers.
In the quarterfinal match against Blair, Flintridge Prep outscored the Vikings in three of the four quarters en route to a 79-57 triumph.
Smith tallied 26 points, Cartwright added 18, Norsworthy finished with 13, and Eugenio had eight.
The Rebels came out and took an 18-14 lead after the opening quarter, and outscored the Vikings, 26-12, in the second quarter.
Prep was ahead, 63-37, after three quarters, tallying 19 points, while Blair (14-17) finished with 11.
Blair was led by Ceandre Cade’s 21 points, followed by Perris Hicks with 13.