PASADENA ??? It took until the final three minutes of the game for Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball Coach Shawn Zargarian to spot the kind of energy he had hoped his team would have displayed earlier.
Missed layups and open jump shots and some breakdowns on defense translated into Crescenta Valley suffering a frustrating 52-45 loss to Pasadena Poly on Friday afternoon in a pool-play game of the Maranatha Tournament.
"Our No. 1 focus is to have that energy," said Zargarian, whose team played a pool-play game against Maranatha later Friday night. "It's going to be about finding some leaders and being able to play hard all the time.
"We played hard and had a lot of energy in the last two-and-a-half minutes. It's not so much about the score, but playing hard."
Pasadena Poly built a 41-31 lead entering the five-minute fourth quarter. The Falcons, who finished 20-8 and advanced to the playoffs last season, closed to within 47-45 on a pair of free throws by Cole Currie with 1:14 left.
Then, things became even more frustrating for the Falcons. After Pasadena Poly didn't convert on its ensuing possession, Crescenta Valley was called for an offensive foul with 51 seconds remaining. Zargarian briefly argued with the official and was then given a technical foul.
The Panthers, who took second in the Prep League behind Flintridge Prep, made one of two free throws to make it 48-45 before scoring on their next possession to extend the lead to 50-45.
"Pasadena Poly made some tough shots and we got stagnant on offense and our transition game was gone," said Zargarian, whose team will meet St. Francis in a final pool-play game at 11 a.m. today. "I'd also like to see us get better defensively at keeping guys in front of us."
The teams were deadlocked at 21 at halftime. The Falcons took a 24-23 lead on a layup by Currie, who finished with nine points.
The Falcons received a game-high 12 points from junior center Christian Misi. Currie recorded nine points.