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Flintridge Prep boys' basketball looks sluggish in Shootout loss

Basketball: Rebels nearly eliminate 11-point deficit, but come up short, 44-40, versus Charter Oak in nonleague action.

January 18, 2014|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com

AZUSA — Missing star guard Robert Cartwright and fighting fatigue and grogginess as well as the Charter Oak High boys’ basketball team, visiting Flintridge Prep came up just short in Saturday morning’s first game of the boys’ basketball 12th annual Azusa Pacific University Shootout.

The Rebels closed within one point and were down a possession with a minute remaining before ultimately falling, 44-40, in nonleague action at the Felix Event Center.

“It’s a quick and difficult turnaround for the guys, especially coming off an emotional league win,” Rebels Coach Garrett Ohara said in reference to Flintridge Prep’s 42-41 victory at Prep League rival Webb on Friday evening. “To come here for a nonleague game the very next morning in a sterile environment without the fan support was also difficult.

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“Plus, without Robert, we really had trouble scoring.”

Ohara confirmed the Stanford-bound Cartwright injured his foot at Webb and was ruled out of Saturday’s game, which was scheduled for a 9 a.m. tip-off, as he’s scheduled to take an X-ray soon.

Despite all of the above issues, Flintridge Prep (5-11) closed within, 42-40, with 59 seconds remaining on a four-footer from Stefan Smith off a slashing drive and kick from senior guard Kyle Hamane.

As was expected, Charter Oak (7-9) went to its standout, junior guard Amier Thomas, on its following possession, looking for an answer.

Thomas, who led his team with 17 points and six rebounds, received the ball from teammate Dakota Golden (nine points and seven rebounds) just outside the left elbow and took advantage of a late-arriving double team.

Thomas split through two Rebels defenders en route to connecting on a two-footer with 30.3 seconds remaining, which put the Chargers back up by four.

Attempting to again close within a possession, Flintridge Prep countered with a five-pass possession that ended on a winding, off-balance six-foot attempt from Hamane that just rimmed out. The miss was rebounded with 13.2 seconds left by Charter Oak’s Joe Bonilla, who was fouled less than two seconds later.

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