There was rarely a foul called that Crescenta Valley High girls' basketball Coach Jason Perez didn't argue or a play downcourt by the Falcons that he didn't critique. But when all was said and done and the Falcons had fallen against Mark Keppel, 38-28, in the first round of the Bellarmine-Jefferson Summer League Tournament on Wednesday, Perez was plenty happy with what had transpired.
â€œOverall, I was real happy,â€ said Perez, who coached the Falcons to a berth in the CIF playoffs after a fourth-place finish in the Pacific League. â€œThey did great under adverse circumstances, especially in the second half.â€
All-Pacific League and All-Area selection Cassie Pappas was gone with travel ball commitments, while starting guard Stephanie Ziemann missed the game due to softball commitments. On top of that, starting point guard Dani Vargas sustained a slight head injury early in the game and was forced to sit out for much of the remainder of the game.
So, to say the Falcons were playing with a skeleton crew would be a safe assessment. Thus, Perez was pleased with how his team did considering the circumstances.
Returning starter Lorrin Cheeney had a team-high nine points and nine rebounds.
Shayna Svihovec added eight points and six boards.
A Cheeney layin with 13:28 left in the first half put Crescenta Valley up, 6-5. It would be their last lead of the game and, subsequently, was followed by a timeout that coincided with a delay as the scoreboard went out. Keppel came out of the delay rolling, outscoring the Falcons, 20-4, the rest of the first half.
â€œThey went on a big run,â€ Perez said.
The second half saw the Falcons regroup, as they scored the first seven points of the half â€” five coming from Cheeney â€” cutting their deficit to eight, but they would venture no closer.
â€œWe played really good defense,â€ Perez said, â€œespecially in the second half.â€
Crescenta Valley will now play the loser of the Huntington Park-Camarillo game at 2 p.m. today. Glendale is also in the tourney and defeated Washington on Wednesday.