LA CRESCENTA — The shooting woes wouldn't disappear and the defensive mistakes added up for a long night for the members of the Crescenta Valley High girls' basketball team.
Playing against powerful Muir in a Pacific League home contest, the Falcons couldn't click and found themselves on the short end of a 56-35 defeat.
"For whatever reason, we started the game lacking a little bit of focus," said Crescenta Valley Coach Jason Perez, whose team fell to 13-11, 6-6 in league with league games left against host Glendale on Tuesday and visiting Arcadia on Thursday. "We had a plan and we knew what we needed to do and we didn't do it.
"In the first half, we made a lot of mental mistakes that led to easy baskets and you can't let that happen. We struggled with our shooting."
Crescenta Valley missed its first six shots in the game. The Falcons got on the board when senior forward Sarah Yoon grabbed an offensive rebound and converted it into a layup to cut Muir's lead to 8-2 with 2:57 left in the first quarter.
Yoon scored all seven of Crescenta Valley's first-quarter points before Muir (17-7, 9-3) put the clamps on her and limited her to zero points the remainder of the way. The Falcons missed six layups in the first half.
Muir, the defending league champion and ranked No. 8 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division 3-AA poll, built a 29-19 halftime advantage. It then limited the Falcons, who entered the contest tied for fourth in league with Pasadena, to 16 points in the second half to complete the two-game season series sweep. Muir posted a 53-35 home win against the Falcons on Jan. 14.
The Mustangs used an 8-0 run midway through the third quarter to take a 45-25 lead.
"We've got to get better," said Perez, who received 11 points from junior center Samira Seraji and seven rebounds from Yoon. "We didn't shoot particularly well from the outside."
The Mustangs got 19 points from senior guard Ahsia Owens, 17 from junior guard Tahniya Sweatt and 10 points and nine rebounds from freshman forward Emoni Jackson.