Following a fifth-place finish in the ultra-competitive Mission League, the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy basketball team found itself in unchartered territory.
None of the Tologs had taken part in a playoff game. That changed Thursday night, when Flintridge Sacred Heart met host Twentynine Palms in a CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA first-round contest.
“We didn’t quite have all the horses,” said Flintridge Sacred Heart second-year Coach Ty Buxman, whose team finished 7-20. “Twentynine Palms was a decent team, but we just didn’t have any playoff experience.
“Now, we have some and we want to use that to help us get better for next season. We want that to motivate them that much more.”
Twentynine Palms, which captured the De Anza League championship, improved to 23-4 and will take part in a second-round contest Saturday. The Wildcats held a 41-25 halftime advantage.
Flintridge Sacred Heart, making its first playoff appearance in two seasons, received a team-high 18 points from Jenna Tran and eight rebounds from Camilla Homans. Tologs guard Casey Johnson played about a minute before being lifted because of a hamstring injury sustained earlier in practice, Buxman said.
“She just couldn’t get the hamstring right,” said Buxman, whose team received an at-large berth. “She tried to play, but it didn’t feel right.
“We had too many turnovers. They pressed us and that made us uncomfortable.”