And those were only two of the many reasons why both coaches will
probably never forget Saturday night's memorable CIF Southern Section
Division IVA second-round playoff contest at Flintridge Prep.
The Rebels nearly pulled off a remarkable comeback against the
division's No. 2 seed -- whittling Bell-Jeff's lead to one point with
3:56 remaining. But behind the poise and leadership of senior Jennae
Peoples, the Guards executed when they had to down the stretch to
post an emotional 47-41 victory.
"[Flintridge Prep] was relentless, and they proved why they're a
championship team," said Camacho, whose squad -- despite allowing a
9-0 run to open the fourth quarter -- advanced to quarterfinals at
7:30 tonight, when it will host Downey Calvary Chapel, a 49-37 winner
against Newport Beach Sage Hill.
"We knew they weren't going to lay down and we were definitely
pushed, but that's what we expected. When you're making a
championship run, you're always going to be tested.
"When both teams rely so much on the press, it's going to be a
game of runs and so you live by it or you die by it. They made a
great run, but we were able to hold our ground. Both teams played so
hard and it was just a great basketball game."
For Flintridge Prep (16-6) -- which suffered its first home
playoff loss in Fisher's 11-year tenure -- the second quarter was
anything but great, as it committed 11 of its 20 first-half
turnovers, allowed Peoples to score 10 of her game-high 19 points and
surrendered a late 10-2 run to trail, 33-20, at the break.
"We didn't handle the pressure very well and that was the game
right there," said Fisher, whose squad committed 32 turnovers and
shot 15 of 48 (31.3%) from the field.
"It's the first time I can recall a team bothering us like that."
But even with their first-half shortcomings, the Rebels made up
some ground in the third quarter, before relying on the play of
senior Shari Quan (15 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and six
steals) to make a big push to start the fourth.
Quan's two free throws closed the deficit to 42-41, but despite
having three possessions to tie or take the lead, the Rebels couldn't
get over the hump, and didn't score the rest of the way.