GLENDALE — Once again, several area high school girls’ basketball players found themselves playing their best at crucial points in Pacific League contests.
It was almost expected of them on most nights to carry their respective programs to victory or at least respectability. For the most part, they achieved that.
Five local players received all-league recognition, as voted on by the league’s eight coaches.
Crescenta Valley’s Cassie Pappas and Anna Shahinian of Glendale were named to the all-league first team, while Lorrin Cheeney of Crescenta Valley, Glendale’s Lidia Rivas and Chelsea Baqueiro of Hoover earned spots on the second team.
Pappas, Cheeney, Shahinian, Rivas and Baqueiro received all-league accolades last season, perhaps giving each of them more incentive to pick up further acknowledgment this season.
Pappas, a junior guard, was named to the first team for the second consecutive year after helping the Falcons go 20-9 and 11-3 in league for second place. Crescenta Valley advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division I-A playoffs.
Pappas averaged a team-best 17.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this season. Cheeney, a senior forward, averaged 4.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
“Cassie was our main offensive threat, and people don’t understand that the plan of the other teams was to try to stop her,” Crescenta Valley Coach Jason Perez said. “She finished off league with some good efforts, and she was no doubt a first-team [member] because she was our go-to player who could carry us.
“With Lorrin, look at what she did defensively. She had to cover guards and post players. She averaged four to five blocks per game in our last five games of the season.”
Shahinian, a senior guard, averaged 13.5 points, 4.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game this season for the Nitros, who advanced to the Division II-AA postseason.
Rivas, a senior forward, averaged a team-best 14.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game for the Nitros (12-14 and 5-9 in league).
“They are honored to be on the team,” Glendale Coach Tania Adary said.
“Anna saved a lot of games for us by closing. Lidia had to battle everybody down low and she proved she could get things done.”
Baqueiro, a senior guard, made the all-league second team for the second consecutive year. She averaged 14 points per game despite the Tornadoes going 5-18 and 2-12 in league this season.
“She was something bright from the season,” Hoover first-year Coach Martik Ghookasian said. “She was one of the strongest points on the team.
“She brought us a lot of points. Without her, we probably don’t even score half of the points that we did.”
Hoover’s Nela Sarkissian, Marlow Tomasian of Glendale and Mel Minas of Crescenta Valley received honorable mention recognition.
Eliza Pierre and Brittany Henderson of Muir were named the league’s co-most valuable players after helping the Mustangs capture the league crown.