LA CRESCENTA — Crescenta Valley High girls' basketball Coach Jason Perez broke down the personnel of Burroughs, and, in the process, offered a comparison.
"Burroughs is where we were last year," Perez said after Crescenta Valley tipped off Pacific League play Tuesday night with a 49-36 home loss against Burroughs. "They know how to come back and they did that by fixing things.
"It's inexperience for us. Right now, we don't know how to make adjustments."
For the first half, Burroughs (11-3) and Crescenta Valley (7-6) were locked in a tight game. The Indians held a 22-20 halftime lead before playing strong defense and getting some timely baskets in turning back the Falcons, who advanced to the quarterfinals last season for the first time since 2001 with an experienced squad.
Burroughs received big contributions from its senior guard duo of Lisha Elsenbach and Justice Shank. Elsenbach, who entered the contest averaging 18.9 points per game, scored 15 of her 17 points in the second half and Shank caused havoc on defense with a game-best eight steals and 13 points.
"[Shank] found a way to make the ball go into the basket," said Perez, who received 10 points from senior guard Melanie Minas and seven points and nine rebounds from freshman forward Ella Stepanian. "They picked up their intensity [in the second half] and we didn't go in and make any adjustments.
"We have got to learn how to play hard and match the other team's intensity. We are a fairly talented team that's still in the process of learning how to play basketball. [Crescenta Valley] played well, but we don't know how to play yet."
A three-pointer by Stepanian gave the Falcons an 18-17 lead with 2:17 left in the second quarter. However, Burroughs senior guard Chelsea Rhamdeow made a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Indians a 22-20 halftime advantage.
The Indians limited the Falcons to 16 second-half points, including six in the fourth quarter. Burroughs broke it open when Shank recorded a steal and layup to make it 39-30 with 27.2 seconds left in the third quarter.
Crescenta Valley had cut the deficit to 33-30 on a jump shot by senior guard Alin Megerdichian with 2:37 remaining, but the Indians closed out the quarter on a 6-0 run.
Burroughs, which will begin league with three games in a row on the road, got 10 points and eight rebounds from sophomore center Aysia Shellmire.
Crescenta Valley received eight points from Megerdichian.
The teams will meet again at 5 p.m. Jan. 24 at Burroughs.