Falcons go cold late in loss

LA CRESCENTA — Going into the fourth quarter of their Pacific League contest Wednesday, neither the Crescenta Valley High nor Burroughs girls' basketball teams were shooting the ball particularly well.

With both defenses also playing with intensity, it should come as no surprise that the host Falcons held only a modest one-point lead in a low-scoring affair going into the final eight minutes.

But while the Indians started knocking down their shots, the Falcons continued to struggle and had by far their lowest output of any of their four quarters, scoring just two points on no field goals. The result was a 38-29 loss, Crescenta Valley's second Pacific League setback to the Indians.

"We missed easy layups and open jump shots," said Falcons Coach Jason Perez, whose team missed all 10 shot attempts in the fourth. "We were executing well, but we couldn't make anything."

After making just 11 field goals in three quarters, the Indians (10-12, 5-4 in league) heated up by hitting five of their seven fourth-quarter attempts from the field.

Crescenta Valley's Catherine Davis scored the only two points in the quarter for the Falcons at the charity stripe early in the frame. From there on, the Indians scored the final 10 points.

"We didn't shoot the ball well in the first half, but I told our players to stick with it," Indians Coach Vicky Oganyan said. "We ran our offense better than we have all season, so we're not used to getting good looks. Then in the second half, the players stepped up and hit some big shots."

Davis helped the Falcons (12-9, 4-5) get off to a fast start, scoring the team's first seven points. The senior point guard's speed allowed her to beat Burroughs' full-court press, which resulted in fast-break opportunities. Her coast-to-coast layup midway through the second quarter gave Crescenta Valley its biggest lead of the game, 17-8.

Burroughs responded with a 6-0 run in the final 1:30 of the half to cut the Falcons' lead to three.

Ella Stepanian, along with Davis, accounted for all of Crescenta Valley's third-quarter points. But again the Falcons had problems closing out another quarter strong, as a six-point lead dwindled down to just one on a Davina Del Castillo layup.

The Indians sustained the momentum in the fourth quarter, as the Falcons' offense disappeared. Burroughs' Gabriella Pineiro led the way with six points in the frame.

The five field goals matched the highest in a quarter for either team. Both teams shot five of 13 in the second quarter.

The Falcons mustered just three field goals in the second half.

Davis led all scorers with 14, followed by Stepanian's nine. The Indians had a more balanced attack with Aysia Shellmire contributing 13 and Pineiro adding 11.

"It's a game I feel we didn't step up," said Perez, whose squad went into the game in a three-way tie for third place with Burroughs and Arcadia. "When you have to go deep into your bench, players need to step up, and today nobody stepped up."

The win is the Indians' second in a row. They will travel to Pasadena Friday — a team that forfeited three wins, including one to Burroughs, earlier in the week. Crescenta Valley will host Burbank Friday evening.

"Every game is important," Oganyan said. "Any win you can get is huge."

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