LA CRESCENTA — Having reached the midway juncture of Pacific League play, Crescenta Valley High girls’ basketball Coach Jason Perez felt satisfaction.
After Crescenta Valley recorded a 49-42 league home victory against rival Arcadia on Friday night, Perez and the Falcons remained one game behind Burroughs for first place in league.
“I like where we are and I feel like we are in good shape,” said Perez, whose team limited the Apaches to six fourth-quarter points to improve to 15-6, 6-1 in league. “To be 6-1 is great and we are only 20 seconds away from being alone in first place.
“We have a lot of big home games in the second half of league and we play well at home. So, we feel like we are in good position.”
Crescenta Valley, which was leading first-place Burroughs until a late rally in the teams’ meeting, received a big effort from Alisa Shinn to turn back Arcadia (15-4, 5-2) in the first of two season meetings. Shinn finished with a game-high 19 points and contributed eight rebounds.
Shinn, a sophomore center, collected 10 second-half points and made a key free throw to give the Falcons a 47-42 lead with 52.3 seconds remaining in the contest.
Shinn said the Falcons did a good job on both ends of the court in the fourth quarter to stymie the Apaches.
“I think we have mostly been a strong second-half team because we know how to make the right adjustments,” Shinn said. “We were able to hit some big shots and pull together defensively in the fourth quarter.
“We played real tough defense in the fourth quarter. We are going out there and trying to win league.”
Crescenta Valley senior guard Ella Stepanian made a shot to give the Falcons a 39-38 advantage with 6:06 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Falcons never trailed from that point and won their fourth contest in a row.
Arcadia held a 25-19 halftime lead, but the Falcons pulled to within 36-35 entering the fourth quarter.
“We were able to put more defensive pressure [on Arcadia] in the second half,” said Perez, who got nine points and four assists from Stepanian and six points and seven rebounds from sophomore forward Josie Brock. “We also started to run our offense a lot better in the fourth quarter.”
The Apaches got 11 points, 14 rebounds and five steals from sophomore forward Caira Benton.
Crescenta Valley will next face visiting Glendale in a league game at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The Falcons posted a 31-22 win in the first matchup Jan. 7 at Glendale.
Crescenta Valley and Arcadia will meet again Feb. 13 at Arcadia.