Falcons' fourth leads to rivalry defeat

ARCADIA — It was simply a bad night for the Crescenta Valley High girls' basketball team.

While the Arcadia Apaches notched a 42-29 Pacific League home victory Friday night, it was the Falcons who ultimately did themselves in during a fourth quarter in which they committed seven costly turnovers and scored just three points.

"We are an inexperienced team," Crescenta Valley Coach Jason Perez said. "We missed shots, tightened up, and turned the ball over."

Despite it all, Crescenta Valley trailed just 31-29 after Melanie Minas' three-point field goal early in the final period. Then with the chance to tie up the ballgame, captain Alin Megerdichian missed two free throws that would have knotted the game at 31. On the ensuing possession, Apache guard Julianna Okamopo scored on a layup. It would be the first two points of an 11-0 run to end the game. The Falcons would not get another chance to tie up the game and instead shot one for six in the final frame.

"A couple of us had bad games," Megerdichian said. "The turnovers did us in and they got the best of us."

The dreadful fourth quarter ironically came right after Crescenta Valley's most well-played quarter of the contest.

"We slowly started streaking our way back in, but because of our defense, not our offense," Perez said.

With a subpar offensive night, the Falcons couldn't carry the momentum over to pull out a victory.

And the win would have been a steal, as it was an uphill climb all game. Crescenta Valley shot just six for 23 and turned the ball over 10 times in the first half.

Neither team, however, had its best showing and it was up for grabs basically throughout, especially in a first quarter that saw three ties and two lead changes.

The Falcons trailed by eight late in the second quarter before Ella Stepanian hit a much-needed three-point field goal.

For its part, Arcadia executed its offense so that a majority of its points came from inside the paint — a key to why it played with the lead for all of the second half.

"As soon as one of their defenders came up, we were able to penetrate and make the bounceback for a layup," Arcadia Coach Don Young said.

Crescenta Valley's Sarah Yoon led the Falcons with 12 points and Stepanian chipped in with eight. Arcadia's Joy Kang led all scorers with 17.

"Our inexperience makes it so sometimes we play well and other times we don't," Perez said. "Six or seven of the girls had their worst game tonight."

Crescenta Valley continues its league season Monday as it travels to Pasadena High to face the Bulldogs.

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