SOUTH PASADENA — It may have just been a summer league game, but the contest between the Crescenta Valley High and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy girls' basketball teams had a regular season feel to it.
Hustle plays, stout defense, a late rally.
Crescenta Valley defeated Sacred Heart, 30-23, at South Pasadena High School on Wednesday, as the game concluded the summer season for both teams.
"It felt like we were in season, like it really counted for something," said Crescenta Valley junior Tanisha Minasian, who finished with nine points.
Prior to the game, Crescenta Valley Coach Jason Perez was just hoping for a good game, win or lose. What he got was a team determined for a victory.
"We played well," Perez said.
He added that he liked how his team performed on defense and its ability to get to the foul line.
The Falcons grabbed an early lead and didn't let go, taking a 15-9 advantage into halftime.
Sacred Heart rallied late, cutting the game to 25-23 with five minutes remaining, but Crescenta Valley held on for the victory.
Minasian said she entered the game not caring if her team won or lost, but instead was just looking for a good showing.
"It turned out well," Minasian said. "We stepped up and we won."
Sacred Heart Coach Ty Buxman said he took the time in summer league play to see what a handful of freshmen could bring to the table. He liked what he saw from his freshmen, as Casey Johnson led the team with 10 points, Jenna Tran added six points and Kelly Fradet knocked down a big three-pointer late in the game.
Junior Melene Agakanian added 10 rebounds.
"I like a lot of what I see," Buxman said. "I like our activity. I like our aggressiveness offensively and defensively. I like that they like to work defensively. And they're all willing to learn. That's big."
Emily Beglarian led all scorers with 11 points for the Falcons. She added five rebounds.
Crescenta Valley is still recovering from an injury to Ella Stepanian, who tore an ACL earlier in the summer.
'We had to be a brand new team," Perez said. "Everything was centered around that one player."
Minasian knows that without Stepanian, responsibility spreads to others on the team.
"She was a huge scoring factor," Minasian said. "Now it's distributed among all of us."