LA CRESCENTA — Even before it joined the Pacific League three seasons ago, Burroughs High had established a competitive rivalry in girls’ basketball with Crescenta Valley.
Whether facing one another in nonleague games or clashing in postseason contests, the Indians and Falcons seem to always put on a good show when they meet.
Friday was no different.
The teams put on a thrilling display, as a depleted Burroughs squad was unable to hold its lead late in the fourth quarter, opening the door for a 50-48 comeback win for host Crescenta Valley.
The Falcons outscored the Indians, 19-12, in the fourth quarter after trailing by as many as seven points with under four minutes remaining.
The win keeps the Falcons in second place in league, while the Indians are in third.
Crescenta Valley Coach Jason Perez said his squad has had a pattern of having to come back in games this season.
“More games than I would like,” said Perez, whose team trailed Burroughs by 14 in the teams’ first meeting Jan. 16, only to win, 41-37. “The good thing about that is that this team knows they have the ability to come back despite being down late in games.”
Burroughs (12-13, 7-5 in league) took control of the game in the third quarter despite missing two of its starters.
Sophomore Lisha Eisenbach — the team’s leading scorer, who averages 15 points and six rebounds — was attending a religious function. To make matters worse, senior starter Cassandra Pozos went down in the third quarter with an injury to her right knee. She didn’t return.
“I told the team that they shouldn’t hang their heads after this loss,” Burroughs Coach Vicky Oganyan said. “With what we were facing, we knew this was going to have to be a total team effort. They gave it their all out there.”
The loss overshadowed a fine game by Indians freshman Marilyn Flynn, who scored a game-high 20 points to go along with 13 rebounds and two blocks. Teammate Ashley Alexander added 12 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
The Indians took a 45-38 lead with 3:51 left in the game on a bucket by Flynn.
However, Crescenta Valley (17-8, 9-3) began to whittle down the lead, spearheaded by some crucial defensive stops.
With 47 seconds left, Falcon Jen Aydin nailed a three-pointer to tie the score at 48.
Aydin and Cassie Pappas were able to convert free throws late in the game to complete the comeback.
Burroughs had two good scoring opportunities with under 20 seconds left, but they were unable to convert.
The Falcons were paced by Pappas, a junior, who had 17 points. Aydin added 11.
Aydin and sophomore Melanie Minas gave the Falcons a boost off the bench, as did junior starter Dani Vargas, who despite going scoreless, had four assists and three steals.