Girls’ basketball defeats Flintridge Prep with momentous comeback

Story by Zoe Chen
Copy Associate Editor

Photo by Emiko Essmiller
Co-Design Editor and Staff Photographer

Girls’ basketball played the Flintridge Prep Wolves in their second round of CIF playoffs, an away game on Saturday, Feb. 10. The Tigers championed over the Wolves 48-33, the Division 3AA winners last season. 

Both teams struggled to gain points during the first period, although for different reasons. South Pasadena’s defense prevented Flintridge Prep from getting many chances to shoot, but the Wolves sank the majority of the shots they took. Prep’s defense was mediocre and allowed South Pasadena many shot attempts, but nerves seemed to be affecting the Tigers’ shooting, and many of their shots bounced off the backboard. 

The first points of the game were scored almost two minutes in when junior shooting guard Kayla Boozer tipped a two-pointer through the hoop. A Wolf three-pointer was then quickly followed by a three from senior point guard Dylan Tse, bringing the score to 5-3. 

The Tigers had many blocks and steals in the next minutes, but none of their shots actually made it through the hoop. Neither team scored again until 2:30 remained on the clock. 

The Wolves sank a series of consecutive three-pointers, giving themselves a slight lead 8-14. However, this only seemed to encourage the Tigers, and with 45 seconds left on the clock, a two-pointer from Boozer and a three-pointer from Tse brought the score to 13-14, where it stayed as the period ended. 

The early minutes of period two featured a well-executed interception from sophomore point guard Madeline Park, but the shot the Tigers attempted bounced off the rim. A Prep three-pointer brought the score to 15-19, and after South Pasadena missed another three-pointer, Prep scored again to bring the score to 15-21. 

Tse was given two free throws, and her first shot bouncing off the rim was a clear indication of the effects of nervousness on the South Pasadena team; Tse is ranked 35 in the nation for number of free throws made. Still, her second shot sailed through the net to bring the score to 16-21. 

A collision on the court resulted in three players lying on the ground. The refs awarded possession to the Tigers, and with the ball in hand, Tse strategically ducked under two Wolf defenders to score a two-pointer, 18-21. 

Boozer was given two free throws with a minute left on the clock. When both of them fell cleanly through the hoop, the score was raised to 22-23. The clock ran down, and the second period again ended with the Wolves a single point ahead of the Tigers. 

Both Prep’s offense and defense choked in the third period, giving South Pasadena exactly the chance they needed to pull ahead. Still, the first three minutes of the period featured no point gain for either team. A two-pointer from Boozer brought the Tigers up to 24-23, and the Tigers called a timeout immediately after. 

The latter half of the period featured exactly the dramatic comeback the Tigers had been waiting for. An interception from Park set off a spark. A three-pointer from senior point guard Jamie Rain Kim then raised the score to 27-23, and another an interception from junior point guard Katie Chung allowed Boozer to score another three. A three-pointer from Kim put the Tigers 10 points ahead of the Wolves, 33-23. 

The Wolves did not score a single point during the period. The Tigers exited the period with a 35-23 lead. 

The early minutes of the fourth period featured Prep’s first point gain in over 10 minutes. However, the Tigers continued to gain points, with the nerves they had displayed earlier in the game now gone. With every passing minute, a Tiger win became more likely. 

The Wolves took a full timeout at 42-31 with 1:30 left on the clock. Prep then turned to more reckless, aggressive play, which resulted in a Wolf player charged with an intentional foul and Boozer given two free throws. She sank both, 45-31. 

A final three-pointer from Kim brought the score to 48-33. Trailing by 15 points with less than a minute left, the Wolves admitted defeat. 

Players watched the clock as Tse held the ball under her arm. The last 10 seconds of the game ticked by, and the Tigers officially won the second round of CIF playoffs. 

“It was a really energetic game, there was a lot of energy,” junior shooting guard Maddy Wong said. “We worked so hard…I’m really excited since we prepared this whole season for [playoffs] and we hope to continue to keep doing really well.”

Tse agreed, adding that the team hopes to keep up their energy and confidence in the next round. 

The Tigers lost their Quarter Final game 45-49 to the Mark Keppel Aztecs on Wednesday, Feb. 14. The loss concluded their playoff run and 2023–24 season. 

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