By Andrew SIMON
In the second half of the Crescenta Valley boys’ basketball game at Burbank on Wednesday, Coltrane Powdrill decided the burden was on him to lift a struggling Falcons squad.
“I think we were kind of lackadaisical on the offensive end and defensive end, so I felt I needed to kind of pick us up a little bit and help us get back into the game,” Powdrill said.
The senior forward did just that.
Powdrill scored 21 of his 29 points in the second half and made several clutch shots down the stretch. But it wasn’t enough for the Falcons (13-5, 4-2 in Pacific League), who missed a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer and lost, 54-52. Burbank (14-5, 4-2) got 21 points from Andy Karandganyan and 14 from Argin Gerigorian, including the winning basket in the waning seconds.
For the first time in six league games, CV played a game decided by less than 15 points.
“I think it just shows we need to work on playing in the face of adversity,” Powdrill said. “If teams are going to play back at us, we have to pick it back up and know we’re a good team. Tonight, we didn’t do it.”
Despite struggling against Burbank’s zone defense and shooting 31% from the field, the Falcons managed to hang around. The score was tied at halftime and again at the end of the third period, but a three-pointer from Karandganyan and two free throws from Adam Colman put CV behind by five with 38 seconds to go.
That’s when Powdrill, who already had scored the Falcons’ previous four points, took over. With Burbank pressing, CV got the ball down the court to their hot hand, and Powdrill drained a three from the wing. After Burbank missed a free throw on the other end, senior Nick Dragovich missed a shot inside, but Powdrill threaded his way to the basket and tipped in the rebound to tie the score at 52 with 19 seconds left.
“It seemed like [Powdrill] was the only one who came out and looked to be aggressive and attack that zone tonight,” coach Shawn Zargarian said. “We had one guy attack it and everyone else stand around and watch.”
CV had played solid defense for most of the game but had trouble with Burbank’s top two scorers. Karandganyan scored 10 in the second quarter, but Gerigorian had taken over in the second half, scoring nine, so he got the ball with the game on the line.
The senior guard took the ball at the top of the key, drove down the right side of the lane and used his soft touch to bank one off the glass and in with seven seconds remaining.
“You’ve got to try to keep the guy in front of you,” Zargarian said. “That killed us all night. We couldn’t keep guys in front of us.”
CV still had a chance to win the game or send it to overtime. Zargarian went with a play designed to get the ball to Dragovich, who was second on the team with 10 points.
But Burbank’s defense took that option away, and the Falcons wound up finding senior guard Adam Dasaad in the corner. Dasaad might have gotten a good look, but a slightly off-target pass took him out of his rhythm, and his potential winning three-pointer clanked off the rim just ahead of the final buzzer.
Although the last play came up short, Zargarian felt the loss was attributable to a series of missed opportunities throughout the contest.
“I think in a two-point game, it’s the little things – one more rebound, one more loose play, one more execution – that make the difference,” he said. “I don’t think we did the little things tonight to win.”
The Falcons face Arcadia on Friday at home.