Crescenta Valley junior forward Coltrane Powdrill pulled down 13 rebounds, but neither he nor any of his four teammates could come up with the two caroms that mattered the most, as the Burbank Bulldogs defeated the Falcons, 55-49, in a key Pacific League match-up with second place on the line.
Trailing 51-49, the Falcons (15-10, 8-5) needed one stop on defense to give them a chance to tie or win the game. Yet, with 20 seconds remaining, Bulldogs’ sophomore forward Adam Colman rebounded two of his own misses from point-blank range, finally converting on his third attempt to give Burbank (18-9, 9-4 in league) a four-point lead.
“One of their guys misses two shots from point-blank range and grabs his own rebounds, and none of us were around to even attempt to grab the rebound,” Crescenta Valley Head Coach Shawn Zargarian told the Valley Sun. “They outplayed us for 32 minutes. They looked like they were ready to play and we weren’t.”
It seemed like neither team was ready to play early on, as neither team scored a point until Burbank senior guard Andre Alexandrian converted one of two free-throws at the 3:39 mark of the first quarter. It took Crescenta Valley five minutes to scratch the scoreboard, when Powdrill scored on a short jumper just outside the paint. The Falcons won the sloppy first quarter, 10-7.
The offensive woes continued into the second quarter. After Crescenta Valley guard Narbeh Ebrahimian scored a driving lay-up to give the Falcons a 12-11 lead with 5:46 remaining in the half, his team would not score another point until senior guard Eric Yoo converted a three-pointer with 20 seconds remaining in the half. With the three-pointer, the Falcons went into the break trailing, 16-15, despite committing 13 first-half turnovers.
“It was sloppy,” Zargarian said of the first half score. “We played into their hands. We played their kind of basketball, and it caused us to score just 15 points.”
Both teams found the bottom of the net in the second half, as both teams scored more points in the third quarter than in the entire first half. Colman was the hot hand in the third quarter, scoring 14 of his 28 points as Burbank extended its halftime lead to 39-31.
The Bulldogs hoped to control the clock in the fourth quarter, though Crescenta Valley started forcing the issue on offense. Keeping pace with Burbank early in the fourth, Powdrill scored five points on consecutive possessions to cut the Bulldog deficit to 48-46.
Burbank added three more points to extend its lead to five points, but Ebrahimian found senior Brandt Bowers in the corner for a wide open three-pointer to cut the Bulldog lead to 51-49 with 42 seconds remaining.
After a Burbank timeout, Colman received a pass just under the rim, and managed three shot attempts to score the game clinching score.
“We kind of went away from what we do,” said Burbank Coach Jose Hernandez. “Points were pretty tough to come by tonight, so we tried to use the clock a little bit. The guys did a good job and hit some free throws and pulled it out.”
The Bulldogs attempted 12 free-throws in the fourth quarter.
Powdrill paced the Falcons with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Alexandrian finished with 28 points and six steals for Burbank.
Heading into the regular season finale for both teams, Burbank claimed the inside track for second place in the Pacific League.
“We got to come out, play, finish off league in third place and get ready for the playoffs,” Zargarian said.
“We can’t dwell. We have one day to move on.”