PASADENA — It wasn’t the right kind of tempo the Crescenta Valley High boys’ basketball team wanted in its Pacific League battle against reigning champion Pasadena.
The Falcons got off on the wrong foot in their second league game and turned the ball over eight times in the first half, as the Bulldogs dictated much of the early play with five blocks and four steals.
As a result, Crescenta Valley fell short of a 10th straight victory as the visitors dropped their first league game, 67-48, to host Pasadena on Friday.
“I was just telling our guys obviously it’s a little tough to get our first loss of the year, but we didn’t come into the year expecting to go 30-0,” Crescenta Valley coach Shawn Zargarian said. “We knew there was going to be a loss here and there and it’s a good time to happen early in the season. I don’t worry about this group necessarily freaking out. I think they’ll learn from it and will be better by it.”
Crescenta Valley, ranked No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Division II-A, dropped to 9-1 and 1-1 in league.
Falcons senior guard Andreyas Bogohossian led the team with 13 points and senior forward Harout Tahanian added 12.
“We just couldn’t slow down the game ourselves and we struggled,” Bogohossian said. “We tried talking to each other and tried getting up on defense and nothing was working, so it’s just a bad day for us, but we’ll come back from it.
“We were trying to get to the basket, but it just wasn’t flowing for us. We were a little bit too selfish and we have to move the ball better next time.”
In all, Crescenta Valley turned the ball over 15 times as Pasadena (4-2, 2-0) disrupted the Falcons’ flow for much of the game.
“Any time you get [Crescenta Valley] to miss a shot, it’s a [sigh of relief] and you feel good about their misses because they make so many of those three-point shots,” Pasadena coach Tony Brooks said.
“Because of that, they spread you out and now they have driving lanes, so we were able to stop the driving lanes and contest those shots for a stretch that allowed us to get that kind of lead. But you’re never comfortable because they’re a three-point shooting team. You could be up 16 and you’ll feel like you’re up three.”
Pasadena senior guard Danny Pina tallied a game-high 31 points and junior guard Dutch Richard recorded five steals.
Though the Falcons turned the ball over five times in the first quarter, they were able to maintain a single-digit deficit down, 19-12, as the teams entered the second quarter.
“I’m not sure if the press necessarily bothered us, but I think once we broke it, it sped us up and teams that pressure in the full-court or half-court tries to speed you up,” Zargarian said.
Pasadena came out in the second quarter scoring five straight points for a 24-12 lead before the Bulldogs stretched the lead to 29-15 midway into the quarter.
By the end of the first half, the Bulldogs had two players in double-digit scoring and a 36-23 lead at halftime.
Crescenta Valley fell behind, 61-41, with 4:33 left in the game after clawing back with intensity earlier in the quarter.