BURBANK — For the initial 24 minutes of its games against Montclair Prep, the Crescenta Valley High girls’ basketball team gave as good as it got.
The Falcons engaged the Mounties in a see-saw affair, exchanging leads and stalemates throughout the first half.
But in the second half, Crescenta Valley just couldn’t keep up, as Montclair Prep’s dominated in the paint en route to a 52-42 win in the Burroughs Magnolia Park Optimist Tournament at Burroughs High.
“It was the offensive rebounding and our inability to stop them from penetrating in the second half that changed the game,” said Falcons Coach Jason Perez, whose team fell to 3-3.
All-Pacific League and All-Area standout Cassie Pappas of the Falcons had team-highs of 14 points and eight rebounds, while Lorrin Cheeney had nine points and seven rebounds. It wasn’t enough to match up with Montclair Prep’s Alex Taylor, who had 20 points and eight rebounds, and the sibling duo of Kimberly and Stephanie Scamman, who had 15 and nine points, respectively.
Montclair Prep (7-0), which won the Falcon Tip-Off Classic earlier this season, narrowly out rebounded Crescenta Valley, 34-32, but the Mounties clearly took advantage in the second half and collected 19 offensive rebounds in all.
“First half, we did a very good job on the boards,” Perez said, “second half, we didn’t.”
After falling behind early, 5-0, Crescenta Valley clawed back with a Pappas three-pointer with 3:32 left in the quarter giving the Falcons an 8-7 lead.
They held a 20-18 lead at the half, scoring the second quarter’s first and last four points with a 7-0 Mounties run in between.
But the Mounties offense more than came alive in the third quarter, scoring a point more than they had in the entire first half and taking a 37-31 lead in the process.
It was bolstered by a 13-1 run that saw Crescenta Valley held without a point for 4:28 and without a field goal for 5:02.
“We didn’t run our offense well today,” Perez said.
Of the Mounties’ 19 points in the quarter, 14 came on layups.
Cheeney, one of eight Falcons to score, hit a free throw with 6:27 left in the game to draw Crescenta Valley within 39-34, but it was as close as the Falcons would get. The Mounties scored the next seven points to seal the game.
Nevertheless, Perez was plenty content with his team’s performance, citing a stellar opponent and the Falcons’ resolve as positives.
“Overall, [Montclair Prep is] one of the best teams in the area,” he said. “I was very happy with effort.”