By Robin GOLDSWORTHY
It’s tough to beat Pasadena varsity basketball (10-0-0 league) and the Falcons were reminded why on Tuesday night.
The only team that has beaten CV this season – that was back on Jan. 12 with a narrow two point victory for the Bulldogs – Pasadena left the Falcons eager to try and claim a win to tie for first place in league. But alas, it was not meant to be. CV lost to Pasadena 71-50.
Knowing this was the biggest game of in-season play, CV’s Coach Shawn Zargarian relied on tried-and-true methods to prepare his team for the expected battle.
“This was a big game for us, but we didn’t want our guys to get overly excited and try to do things they don’t normally do,” said Zargarian. “We prepared for this game the same we prepare for every game: we watched film, worked on certain scenarios and strategies. Pasadena is a tough place to play – it’s hard to replicate what they do.”
An early lead for CV was quickly eaten up by the Bulldogs. Known for being fast and aggressive, Pasadena also came onto the court with a solid offense and defense.
“Pasadena is very athletic, quick and long,” said Zargarian. “Our hope was to keep them out of the paint and make them beat us from the perimeter. That wasn’t the case, because Pasadena scored on second chance lay ups and points off of turnovers … we gave them too many point blank looks.”
Despite their proven strength of the past, the Falcons brought a low energy to Tuesday night’s game. Not finishing their shots and lazy passes made for a team that appeared unfocused.
Hope was reignited for Falcon fans though in the second half when the team returned to the boards with a renewed energy and focus. Christian Misi quickly nailed a three-pointer followed by another three by Nick Kelly bringing the score to 29-37 three minutes into the third. But Pasadena quickly answered picking up four off those dreaded turnovers.
Pasadena’s Blake Hamilton was an especially sharp thorn in CV’s side. Noting the soft passing by the Falcons, Hamilton was at the ready, stealing the ball more than once. And he, along with his teammates, was adept at coming up on the rebounds, something CV was lacking.
“We should have done a better job of taking care of the basketball,” said Zargarian. “Twenty-three turnovers is not going to win any games against any teams.”
He will need to figure how to get his team back on track as the next game on Friday is against Muir – a team that has similar playing styles as Pasadena: very fast and aggressive.
“We need to bounce back. That’s the good thing about playing in two days … we can’t worry about the past, we have to move forward,” said Zargarian. “We will focus on taking care of the ball and making better decisions.”
CV plays Muir at home on Friday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.