Team Effort Leads Lady Falcons to Victory
By Mark FABRICK
Crescenta Valley Lady Falcons’ head coach Jason Perez couldn’t stop singing the praises of the players on his team following their 56-51 win over the Burbank High Bulldogs last night.
“We have other kids who are starting to step up their games,” Perez said after the game. “A lot of the stuff we did really well was keyed by those other players stepping up; it wasn’t just one person. I think that was what keyed the win.”
The win moves the Falcons to 3-1 in Pacific League play. Their only loss was to Burroughs (51-49) on Monday. Perez said that the team did not play well in the fourth quarter in that game, but he was much more pleased with his team’s fourth quarter effort on Wednesday.
“Ella Stepanian stepped up huge in the second half. She had 10 points in the half,” said Perez. “Alisa Shinn had a phenomenal game – I don’t know how many points – but with a lot of assists from Ella. But it was other players who had huge second halves. Josie Brock, Tanisha Minassian with two massive threes. I was real happy in the second half that the defensive intensity was there.”
It was another sloppy start for Crescenta Valley. The Falcons couldn’t make any outside shots, but their defense prevented the Bulldogs from getting anything going early and they took a 9-6 lead to end the first quarter. But the Falcons’ inability to make shots came back to haunt them in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs kept chipping away at Crescenta Valley’s lead and senior guard Ratiana Karapet kept making her way to the free throw line where she was four-for-six in the quarter. Karapet found senior forward Fatima Cisneros on a breakaway for a lay-up to end the first half and give Burbank a 20-19 lead.
Stepanian came out ready to play in the second half, though. After assisting Brock for the Falcons’ first bucket of the second half, Stepanian scored back-to-back buckets to give the Falcons a 25-24 lead. Stepanian would either find Shinn down low for an easy lay-up or draw the defense and make her way to the free throw line for the rest of the quarter.
Brock continued the scoring barrage in the fourth to move the Falcons forward 40-32, but the Bulldogs would not be denied as they started hitting their threes. With three minutes to go, Minassian stepped up and hit two big three pointers to give the Falcons a 10-point lead that would hold up.
Multiple free throw attempts and a couple of Burbank threes later, the Falcons were walking out with a 56-51 victory.
The Lady Falcons will head to Pasadena High on Friday followed by a match-up at Hoover High on Tuesday.