BURBANK — It's been over three months since the Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball team played a live game and by the second half of Tuesday night's Burbank Summer League opener, the effects of the long layoff began to show.
The Falcons saw nearly all of a double-digit, first-half lead evaporate in a shaky third quarter and were outplayed down the stretch of the fourth by Royal en route to a 47-43 loss.
"I think a lot of our problem right now is we're out of shape," said Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian, whose team was led by 16 points and five rebounds from Cole Currie and 13 points and nine rebounds from Christian Misi. "Our guys get tired so quick and when they get tired they make a lot of silly mistakes. Physically, they get fatigued and it leads to them making a lot of mental errors."
That was proved in the third quarter, when the Falcons committed seven of their 13 turnovers and went into the fourth quarter leading, 30-27, after being up by as many as 12.
Still, they were able to take a 38-36 lead into the final two minutes on a pair of free throws from Misi.
With little over a minute to play, Royal's JR Powell hit a floater to tie the game at 38 and Crescenta Valley turned the ball over on its next possession.
Powell, who finished with 13 points, came right back and buried a straightaway three-pointer for a 41-38 lead, Royal's first of the game, with 30 seconds left.
"They did a great job of shooting the ball, but part of it was our defensive breakdown," said Zargarian, who got five points and nine rebounds from Davis Dragovich. "It was again getting beat straight to the basket, over helping and then allowing a good three-point shooting team to get open looks."
Down by five with under five seconds left, Currie gave the Falcons a glimmer of hope with a three-pointer, but Powell then iced the game at the line.
"Cole, offensively, was really good for us and Christian, at times, offensively, was good for us," Zargarian said. "We just didn't have a lot of energy."