By Robin GOLDSWORTHY
It took not one, not two, but three rings of the buzzer before a winner was declared in Friday night’s basketball game against Burbank at Crescenta Valley.
The game against the Bulldogs, which finished second in league last year 10-4-0 just ahead of the Falcons, was expected to be tight and Friday’s contest did not disappoint. CV pulled out a win despite an abundance of turnovers and an aggressive defense by Burbank ending the night 69-66.
It was in the fourth that CV saw Burbank step up its defense with play getting tighter between passes with Bulldog Tyron Bennett seemingly everywhere. Defending was hard in the paint for the Falcons with basic post moves nearly impossible causing more perimeter shots.
“I think we could do better defensively executing down the stretch,” CV’s Coach Zargarian acknowledged.
With a 1:35 remaining in the fourth, Christian Misi made two, was fouled and picked up one bringing the score 52-48. Burbank was quick to respond and quickly tied it up. Cole Currie picked up two on a foul with a minute on the clock 54-52.
Time was running out when Bulldog Andre Spight picked up a much-needed two on a foul, tying at 54. With CV regaining possession, the Falcons were burning time when Currie caught a foul, picking up two 56-54.
With nine seconds on the clock, Burbank called time-out. Returning to the court, Burbank made two, again tying it up. Spight was fouled, but missed both his shots. With :04, CV had possession and another time out was called, this time by Zargarian.
Returning to the boards, Misi passed to Davis Dragovich, who took a desperate but unsuccessful shot and the buzzer sounded – the first time – at a tie at 56.
Zargarian kept his faith in the five, sending them back to the court. Dylan Kilgour caught a foul on a push, making both his shots 58-56. Moments later, as Kilgour was moving the ball down the court, Burbank stole the ball, and with a slam dunk tied it at 58. Much back and forth resulted in no additional score and the buzzer again rang in a tie.
Returning – again – to court, Dragovich quickly grabbed two 60-58. Burbank returned the favor. The Bulldogs used their big guys to penetrate with the Falcons reverting to outside shooting which worked with Kilgour nailing a three–pointer and Dragovich grabbing a rebound 63-60. Currie caught a foul, making one of two 64-60.
Burbank’s Chris White was fouled, makes his two, bringing Burbank to within two. CV would grab another two then Burbank did the same.
At 67-64, Burbank had possession and made two with :16 on the clock. With the Falcons controlling the ball, Dragovich nailed the final two of his 20 for the night on a foul ending the game at 69-66.
“Davis came through,” said Zargarian. “Tonight he showed what kind of player he could be and is.”
With 80% of their free throws successful, CV proved that the team could handle the pressure.
“We showed that we can play when things get tough, when things get tight,” said Zargarian. “Our guys didn’t get rattled when they could have.”