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Flintridge Prep boys' basketball can't size up to Sherman Oaks Notre Dame

Basketball: Rebels' season concludes, as does stellar career of Cartwright in first-round CIF loss.

February 19, 2014|By Nathan Cambridge, Special to the Valley Sun
  • Flintridge Prep's Robert Cartwright goes up for shot past Notre Dame defenders Luca Ferrari and Ryan Ducar during a CIF-SS Division IV-AA first-round game on Wednesday. The contest was the final for the Stanford-bound Cartwright. (Roger Wilson/Staff Photographer)
Flintridge Prep's Robert Cartwright goes up for…

LA CAÑADA —There were several caveats to take into account as the Flintridge Prep boys’ basketball team ventured into this year’s postseason.

Just like last year, when the postseason run extended to the CIF Southern Section Division VAA semifinals followed by an invitation to the state tournament, the Rebels came in champions of the Prep League. But this season, the Rebels had bumped up a division to IVA and were sure to face tougher competition.

PHOTOS: Flintridge Prep vs. Notre Dame CIF SS Division IV-AA first-round game

Their first-round opponent was Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, which arrived as an at-large entry that finished last in its league. However, that league was the tough Mission League and the Knights also came in seeded 10th in the Division IVAA bracket.

On Wednesday night, the Knights proved to be too tough for Flintridge Prep, as they dominated inside en route to a convincing 74-49 victory to end the Rebels’ season.

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“Four-AA is no joke,” Flintridge Prep Coach Garrett Ohara said. “We knew we’d have to play a tough team in the first round, second round. Anyway, it would have been nice to come away with one win, but Notre Dame is very good [despite] their record. They’re obviously in one of the toughest leagues around.”

The Flintridge Prep (11-14) first-round loss also brought a close to Robert Cartwright’s career as a Rebel, in a game where the Notre Dame defense was designed to throw everything and everyone it had at the star point guard in order to slow him down.

“[Cartwright] is a great player. There is a reason he is going to Stanford,” Notre Dame Coach Vince Oliver said. “He has a great mind for the game and he is a good competitor. We just wanted to make it as tough for him as possible.”

Cartwright led all Rebels scorers with 19 points in his final game for Flintridge Prep. Throughout the contest he saw double teams and a lane with few avenues to the basket.

“They were a good defensive team. They threw a lot of guys at me,” Cartwright said. “The lane was clogged a lot of the time. ... So, we were outplayed today by a better team, but I thought we fought hard.”

The tight defense by Notre Dame (11-17) meant numerous trips to the line for Cartwright, who recorded 11 of his 19 from the charity stripe, which included 10 of his 12 points in the second quarter, after which the home team trailed, 57-38.

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