Crescenta Valley sputters late in league home loss

LA CRESCENTA — It was a forgettable fourth quarter for the Crescenta Valley High girls' basketball team.

It was one in which the Falcons shot just one of seven from the field and scored four points to their opponent's 10.

Despite it all, the Falcons still came one missed runner short of sending the Pacific League contest into overtime, but Catherine Davis' shot missed as time expired and Crescenta Valley fell, 34-32, to the visiting Burbank Bulldogs on Friday night.

"When you give up 34 points, you should win a basketball game," Falcons Coach Jason Perez said. "But we're an inexperienced team, and it's the mental part of the game that we have to capture."

The lone field goal for Crescenta Valley (7-7, 0-2) in the final frame came on a three-pointer from Ella Stepanian, who led the Falcons with 18 points, including seven of Crescenta Valley's first nine points in the opening period.

The long ball put the Falcons up by four with just under three minutes to play, but it was all Burbank (8-6, 1-1) from there, as it went on a 6-0 run in the final two minutes, including sophomore Courtney Seidler's layup with just under 20 seconds remaining.

"It was a hard battle," Bulldogs Coach Bruce Breeden said. "We hadn't won here in three years so it's nice to finally get one."

Melanie Minas scored the only other point of the quarter on a free throw early on to give Crescenta Valley a 29-24 advantage that was eventually squandered.

Before the dreadful fourth quarter, Crescenta Valley had the upper hand for a majority of the game.

In the second and third quarters — during which the Falcons held the lead for all but a couple seconds early in the second — Crescenta Valley's defense turned up the heat, forcing the Bulldogs to shoot seven for 25.

The stellar defense allowed the Falcons to lead by as many as six midway through the third quarter, but seven turnovers in the stanza kept them from running away with it, and let the Bulldogs hang around.

"On the defensive end, we're strong," Perez said. "It's the basic parts of our offense that we don't execute.

"We run a spread offense that allows us to attack and we don't attack."

Following Stepanian, teammate Samira Seraji chipped in six points for the Falcons.

Seidler led the way for the Bulldogs with 10 points.

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