BURBANK — Crescenta Valley High suffered a last-second overtime loss at home to Muir on Friday, forcing it to share the top spot in Pacific League boys' basketball with 10-time defending champion Pasadena. As of Monday, the memories of that loss still lingered for the Falcons.
“We still got the sting from Friday night and that Muir loss,” Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian said. “So we really emphasized to our guys that, you know, if you have any ill feelings or are upset about Friday night you’ve got to kind of let it go and move on to play with a lot of energy and aggression and I think our guys did that tonight.”
The Falcons did move on and protected their place on the perch atop the Pacific League leader board by going on the road and blowing out fourth-place Burbank, 60-37.
Crescenta Valley showed no hangover from Friday’s bitter defeat and easily handled the Bulldogs from the opening whistle, seemingly taking out its frustration on the hosts.
“I’m still a little ticked off about [the Muir loss],” Falcons senior Cole Currie said. “I think we will be for the rest of the year. I don’t think that is something we forget, but we’re just going to use it to motivate us.”
Both teams excelled on defense, while both also struggled to make shots, leading to a combined 11 field goals made before the break. Burbank accounted for just four of those field goals while the Falcons (18-5, 9-1 in league) had seven, with four coming from beyond the arc, for a 23-10 halftime cushion.
“Our defense did a great job in the first half,” Zargarian said.
The Falcons were led in scoring by Currie, who tallied 20 points. Although the guard struggled from the field, as did all the players on the court, he consistently stayed on the attack.
“We had to grind it out,” Currie said. “I don’t know what we shot in the first half ... but defensively we just locked in and that was big. It kept us in the game as we were shooting so poorly.”
Currie had a game-high seven points at half and came out and scored the first seven points of the third quarter to give his team its first 20-point advantage. His final hoop came on a drive to the basket halfway through the fourth quarter, after which he took a well-deserved seat on the bench with the game in hand — and becoming increasingly physical.
The Falcons had eight players score in the contest, although the only other Falcon to reach double-digits was Eric Patten. The junior big man scored all 10 of his points in the second half, including going six of seven from the free-throw line. In total, the Falcons made six three-pointers — led by three from Arin Pezeshkian for nine points — which was good enough for third on his squad in the scoring department.
Burbank (13-10, 5-5) was limited to four points in the first quarter, with both baskets coming from close range following a loose ball in the paint. The Bulldogs had nine players score, but none recorded more than six or made more than two field goals.
“We just didn’t have a good effort,” said Burbank Coach Jerry Delaurie, whose team had lost on the road to the Falcons by just six earlier this month. “We did not play hard with any kind of character, integrity or pride.”
The loss doesn’t knock Burbank out of fourth place, but it does bring two teams, Glendale and Burroughs, closer, trimming the Bulldog advantage to one game in the loss column. Burbank’s next game is on Wednesday at Glendale, where the Bulldogs will look to bounce back.
“We just got to regroup here in 48 hours and play Glendale because they’re right behind us,” Delaurie said, “But I’m pretty disappointed with [this] effort.”
Crescenta Valley’s next game is also Wednesday, as the Falcons travel to Hoover, looking to stay on top of the Pacific League.