SANTA ANA -- Flintridge Prep coach Garrett Ohara summed up the CIF Southern Section Division 5AA boys' basketball championship game in one sentence.
“Points were at a premium,” he said.
In the final two minutes of the game, they were about as scarce as finding a reasonable price for gas.
Jared Nosworthy made 1-of-2 free throws to break a 44-44 tie with a little more than two minutes to play and Flintridge Prep held on for a 47-44 victory over Muir at Mater Dei High School on Saturday.
Freshman Robert Cartwright gave Flintridge Prep a three-point lead, 47-44, with 1:32 to play. Those were the only points scored in the final 2:30.
Playing with four fouls for most of the second half, Nosworthy scored 14 points and made 6-of-9 free throws. Ohara said Nosworthy isn’t one of his better players from the free-throw line, but made his shots count against Muir.
“He played his best game at the right time,” Ohara said.
Cartwright scored only seven points in the game, but none were bigger than the two he scored at the end of the game.
Nosworthy said he didn’t think his free throw and Cartwright’s basket would be the last points scored. Both teams traded baskets and leads with a flurry in the third quarter.
Muir took a six-point lead, 23-17, into halftime. Flintridge Prep outscored Muir, 19-11, in the third quarter to take a two-point lead. The Rebels tied the score, 27-27, on a layup by Nosworthy with 3:37 to play in the third quarter. He was fouled on the play and gave his team a one-point lead by completing the three-point play.
Muir’s Brian Carrier put his team back on top with a basket, but Flintridge Prep took the lead right back with a basket by Kory Hamane.
Flintridge Prep’s Kenyatta Smith put his team up 34-31 with a basket and a free throw with 2:11 to play in the third. Muir tied the score less than a minute later on a three-point play by Jelani Mitchell.
Flintridge Prep scored a basket just before the end of the third quarter to take a slim two-point lead into the fourth.
Muir had a chance to tie the score with 2.4 seconds left. Justin Knowles launched a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but missed.
The Harvard-bound Smith scored a team-high 15 points and had 17 rebounds for Flintridge Prep. He also had six blocks.
Mitchell scored 15 points and was 9-for-11 from the free-throw line for Muir. Knowles finished with 10 points.