If ever the Flintridge Prep boys’ basketball team was in danger of having its Prep League championship streak snapped, 2014 seemed the year.
The Rebels missed multiple starters for large portions of the season, while the Prep League was perhaps as strong as it has been in years with four teams qualifying to the postseason.
Yet, despite the hurdles, Flintridge Prep rose to the occasion and captured a seventh straight league title.
The Rebels were recognized for their achievements as senior Robert Cartwright was named the league’s most valuable player and two additional athletes were picked to the first and second teams.
“Obviously it was a special year, especially since it was my senior year,” said Cartwright, a McDonald’s High School All-American game nominee. “Injuries held me back this year, but I was really proud of my teammates. They fought through the problems and stayed together.”
The Stanford-bound Cartwright missed 10 games this past season battling Achilles’ and ankle injuries.
Yet, Cartwright still averaged 21 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.7 steals per contest in 15 games as the Rebels finished 11-14 overall and suffered a 74-49 first-round defeat to the Mission League’s Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA playoffs.
“There’s no way to sugarcoat it, it was horrible,” Cartwright said of the injuries and subsequent time spent off. “We played a great nonleague schedule and I just tried to be a coach on the bench and help my team any way I could.”
Cartwright and the Rebels claimed the title by virtue of winning every single close league contest with 41-39 and 55-53 victories over Pasadena Poly, a 61-60 triumph over Chadwick and a 45-43 win versus Webb.
“In a lot ways, we were lucky,” Cartwright said. “We didn’t do what we needed to do in the beginning of games, but we were resilient and found a way to win some incredible games.”
Rebels senior Kyle Hamane joined Cartwright on the first team, as the guard averaged 8.5 points and three assists per contest.
“Kyle was a steady force for us all year,” Flintridge Prep Coach Garrett Ohara said. “He creates havoc for our opponents and he shouldered a big burden in Robert’s absence. His effort and defense on the ball forced opponents to do things they wouldn’t want to do.”
As for the second team, Rebels sophomore forward Andrew Tsangeos earned a nod after averaging 10 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
“Andrew’s rebounding was spectacular for us,” Ohara said. “I think it was the Chadwick game where he scored 30 points for us in that home overtime win. He was a high-percentage three-point shooter the entire year. With injuries to Robert and [Dante Fregoso], he filled in great.”
Poly’s Michael Bowman and Will Genske and Chadwick’s Kevin Doi and Cole Freeman were all named league first-teamers.