First published in the Jan. 27 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
After nearly three weeks, the Flintridge Prep varsity girls’ basketball team returned to action and won its rivalry game at Polytechnic, 54-46, last Tuesday.
“It’s a big rivalry game and we actually talked about that a lot with this team because there are several players that don’t know that because we are such a young team and last year with COVID, we didn’t play Poly,” Flintridge Prep co-head coach Jayme Kiyomura-Chan said. “We told them, ‘It doesn’t matter if we are 10-0 or 0-10, and vice versa for Poly, this is always going to be our rivalry now and when you are gone.’”
The victory extended Flintridge Prep’s school-record league winning streak to 71 games despite learning just hours before tip-off that star sophomore Maddie Chiu was out for the rest of the season due to a stress fracture in her back.
“It was an extremely emotional day for our girls,” Kiyomura-Chan said. “She’s on six weeks of strict no activity. I think learning that just hours before our game was a little daunting to our team.”
Chiu was one of Flintridge Prep’s top scorers before her injury, so Wolves junior Ashley Chea had to carry a larger load than usual as she racked up a game-high 35 points and eight rebounds.
It was a close contest up to the final minute of the second quarter when the Wolves began to pad their lead. Chea knocked in a basket from behind the arc to give Flintridge Prep a 21-20 advantage, one it wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the contest.
Chea’s 3-pointer sparked a 10-2 scoring run for the Wolves that started in the second quarter and carried over into the third quarter.
Panthers junior Paige Lim posted a team-high 29 points, including a game-high seven 3-pointers. Each of Lim’s four baskets in the final quarter was from beyond the 3-point line, nearly matching Chea’s 13 points in the quarter. Meanwhile, junior teammate Sammie Yen ended with 14 points.
“Paige can really shoot the ball, she’s really competitive and when she and Sammie are on, we can play with anybody,” Poly head coach Andrew Bencze said. “Paige is just a gifted scorer. You can’t leave her open; if you give her an inch, she’ll put it in the basket. She’s tearing it up.”
Several Wolves got in on the rivalry action as sophomore Kassidy Huie and freshman Gigi Mastras collected seven and four rebounds, respectively, and scored six points each. Sophomore Maddi Huie had three points and four rebounds, senior Riley Haus registered two points and 10 rebounds, and senior Amadi Weser scored two points.
Panthers sophomore Chloe Palmer and freshman Luciana Piro scored two and one, respectively.
The Wolves (7-0 league record, 13-4 overall) are scheduled to visit Rio Hondo Prep in Arcadia for a league matchup on Friday, Jan. 21, at 4:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, Poly (3-1 league record, 9-6 overall) is scheduled to host Rio Hondo Prep in a league game on Friday, Jan. 28, at 5 p.m.