With the victory, the Rebels (14-4, 7-2 in league) kept themselves in league-title contention with league-leading Pasadena Poly (15-6, 8-1).
Yet, Poly likely wasn’t on the minds of the members of the Flintridge Prep team when Mayfield sophomore guard Megan Villar slashed through the paint and converted a layup with 2:01 remaining to pull the Cubs (8-15, 2-8) to within 49-44, which marked the closest the home team had been since late in the second quarter.
With a potential upset looming, the Rebels went back to their bread and butter — free throw shooting and defense.
First, Rebels guard Taylor Yoshida was body-checked and fouled by Villar (18 points) at 1:43, which sent the freshman to the line for a one-plus-one bonus.
Yoshida didn’t flinch in knocking down two free throws, which was followed by a steal from fellow freshman guard Renae Tamura (nine points) on the Cubs’ subsequent possession.
While Tamura missed her shot attempt after the steal, teammate Tala Ismail, who led all players with 20 points, six rebounds, four steals and two blocks, scooped up an offensive board and putback with 1:18 left that gave Flintridge Prep a 53-44 lead.
Despite being down nine, Mayfield made one last surge, first grabbing three points when senior forward Remy Traglio (11 points and 15 rebounds) scored on a continuation eight-footer while being fouled. Traglio sank a free throw with 26.7 seconds left to bring the Cubs within 53-47.
Mayfield then pressured on Flintridge Prep’s inbounds and came up with a steal from Traglio.
Yet, Traglio missed a layup try that was rebounded by Ismail with 18.3 seconds remaining, which virtually sealed the game.