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Crescenta Valley girls' basketball overcomes shooting woes to down Burbank

Crescenta Valley girls' basketball overcomes shooting woes to down Burbank
Burbank's Osanna Tirityan drives to the basket and shoots against Crescenta Valley's Polin Megerdichian in a Pacific League girls' basketball game at Crescenta Valley High on Tuesday. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)

If there was a chance for an opponent to take advantage of a poor shooting game from the Crescenta Valley High girls' basketball team, that opportunity arose Tuesday for Burbank.

In the Pacific League opener for both teams, the Falcons had trouble making their shots and trailed the Bulldogs after three quarters.

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But as bad as Crescenta Valley shot on the night, it was still in the game in the fourth quarter. Burbank then struggled in the final stanza, scoring only a pair of free throws, and the Falcons came on late to seal a 41-33 victory on their home floor.

Crescenta Valley (9-5), the defending CIF Southern Section Division I-A champion, earned the win despite converting 16 of its 56 shots from the floor and making just three of 18 from three-point range, as it outscored Burbank, 13-2, in the fourth quarter.

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"It was just not a great shooting game for us all around," said Falcons Coach Jason Perez, who received points from eight players. "The last game we shot 50% and scored 77 points.

"You have to make shots and we really didn't make many shots, even in the second half. But what was able to help us was our defense. We had Michelle Boghozian come in and she just did a great job for us on defense."

Polin Megerdichian and Rachel Dayag (five rebounds) had eight points each for the Falcons.

While the Falcons received balanced scoring, the same couldn't be said about the Bulldogs (8-8). Burbank received 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds and three steals from Osanna Tirityan. However, the next highest Burbank scorer was Sabrina Zakarian, who had four points.

"There are times that we play well and there's times where we play badly, there is just no in-between for us," Burbank Coach John Wells said. "When you score two points in the fourth quarter, there's not much you can do.

"We just stopped playing team ball. We are a senior-heavy team with nine seniors and they are better than what they showed tonight. They just didn't trust each other and it showed in the fourth quarter."

Burbank began the game on a 4-0 run, but Crescenta Valley quickly turned the momentum in its favor. The Falcons outscored the Bulldogs, 14-4, the rest of the way and enjoyed a 14-8 advantage after one quarter.

But things went south for Crescenta Valley in the second. The Falcons converted just two of their 16 shots from the floor and were outscored, 12-4. As a result, Burbank went into halftime with a one-point lead, 20-19.

The Bulldogs increased their lead to seven, 31-24, with 1:39 remaining in the third on two consecutive three-pointers by Tirityan.

Things were tight in the fourth quarter with Burbank leading, 33-32. But Crescenta Valley would not allow another point in the stanza, ending the game on a nine-point run, with five coming from Senayt Tassew.

"It was not pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but we were able to pull it out and that's what counts," Perez said.

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