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Crescenta Valley boys' basketball falls short of state regional title

LA CRESCENTA — In the third quarter of their CIF State Division III Southern California Regional boys’ basketball final at Crescenta Valley High, although trailing by a large margin, the Falcons’ bench tried its best to ignite each other against La Jolla Country Day.

During a timeout, one player stood up and gave a vehement speech to his teammates, with the hope to rally the home side to its first state regional title.

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However, eighth-seeded La Jolla Country Day just would not miss a shot and the CIF Division I San Diego Section semifinalist silenced host Crescenta Valley, 71-43, and end the Falcons’ historic season.

The Torreys shot 12 of 26 in the first half and 10 of 13 in the third quarter to outscore the Falcons, 21-18, in the quarter and counter an 8-0 Falcons’ scoring run.

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“Offensively, La Jolla was just spot on,” Crescenta Valley coach Shawn Zargarian said. “We couldn’t stop them, and the hard part is, if we’re not getting stops, we’re not running. We’re not making shots, we’re not getting stops, and we’re not getting anything easy in transition. It’s hard.”

The No. 6 Falcons finished 29-6, tying the program’s record for most wins in a season.

Crescenta Valley finished runner-up in the Pacific League, reached the CIF Southern Section Division II-A semifinals, where it fell to eventual champions Colony, and defeated Bakersfield, Santa Barbara and second-seeded Granada Hills Charter to reach the school’s first state regional final.

“We tied for most wins in school history with 29,” Zargarian said. “We finished at 29-6, which is unbelievable. We won three state games, two of them at home. We had some amazing CIF games with overtime wins. If you look back at what we were able to accomplish, this game will not be the deciding factor on what the season was about.”

Falcons junior Tyler Carlson led the team with 17 points and senior Andreyas Boghossian scored 13 after missing all seven attempts in the second quarter. The senior scored 10 points in the third quarter and sparked an 8-0 run early in the period to cut the deficit to 43-28.

“We started getting loose in the third quarter,” Boghossian said. “We started getting some more in-flow shots, but they were still tough shots. They were playing some great defense out there.”

The Falcons had trouble shooting in the first half and hit four of 13 attempts in the first quarter and three of 19 in the second.

“I thought we had a little bit of nerves coming out,” Zargarian said. “Nerves will typically disrupt you offensively. I thought we were disrupted offensively, and I’m not knocking on La Jolla. I don’t think their defense was the reason. I think we were just tight.”

The Torreys, meanwhile, made shots and finished 12 of 26 at halftime.

La Jolla Country Day (22-13) was led by Ryan Langborg with 20 points, followed by seniors Ray Lu with 14 points and Jayson Taylor with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

“We knew we had to be aggressive, but we knew that wouldn’t phase Crescenta Valley,” La Jolla Country Day coach Ryan Meier said. “These guys are steady. They have been extremely well-coached. I think our pressure did overwhelm them a little bit, but that’s a really, really good team.

“I was nervous, to be honest, of how well-coached they are — running their sets, how steady they would be, and that they would find something and see a couple of shots go in. They could’ve easily got us back.”

The Torreys outscored the Falcons, 12-2, at the end of the first quarter to take a 22-7 lead at the end of the quarter.

Though La Jolla Country Day only hit four of its 13 shot attempts in the second quarter, the Torreys’ length still proved disruptive in the period and they closed the half with a 36-15 lead.

A drive to the basket from Boghossian with 3:55 left in the third cut the La Jolla Country Day lead to 45-30, but three-pointers at the end of the third quarter gave the visitors a 59-33 lead.

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