By Brandon HENSLEY
The shots kept falling from beyond the arc for Burbank High School, but somehow, some way, every time the Falcons looked up at the scoreboard, they found themselves not far behind.
Eventually, Crescenta Valley took control late in the basketball game and pulled out a tough 64-62 home victory over the Bulldogs Tuesday night.
Consider these numbers: Burbank converted 10 three pointers in the first half, 14 overall. They received a game-high 24 points from Faraz Kundocker, who threw in eight three-pointers. Which – you guessed it – consisted of all the shots he made.
Still, Crescenta Valley (14-6, 6-2 in the Pacific League) only trailed 36-34 at halftime.
“I told them, ‘Somebody must be smiling down you to only be down by two points when we’ve played that poorly,’” said CV Head Coach Shawn Zargarian. “We weren’t showing any energy. We came out flat and weren’t executing.”
The Falcons’ answer came in the form of the long ball as well. Trey Ballard scored 18 points, including five threes made. His three from the sideline closed the gap to 58-57 with 4:03 left in the game.
Journey Shank, who always finds a way to the basket, later was hit by two defenders, and had a chance to give his team the lead. Unfortunately for the Falcons, Shank missed both free throws. So then it was Koko Kechichian’s turn.
With 1:34 to go, the senior guard, known for his tough play ball handling, instead made his presence known by drilling a three from the left side in front of the Falcons’ bench. That made it 63-58 Crescenta Valley, and was enough to earn the win.
“Certainly the three by Koko was huge,” Zargarian said. “Koko’s not the best shooter in the world, but he has all the confidence. If he thinks he can make it then he’ll take it.”
“We had to have confidence that the shots were going to fall,” said Ballard.
Burbank’s Cameron Sweeten made a layup with six seconds left to make it 64-62, but CV ran the rest of the time off the clock by slowly inbounding the ball.
Zargarian mentioned how difficult he knew this game was going to be; the Bulldogs made it to the CIF quarterfinals last season. In the league season opener this year, the Falcons ground out a 55-46 victory at Burbank High.
CV now prepares to travel to Pasadena on Friday night for a matchup against the best team in league. PHS came into the Falcons’ gym on Jan. 6 and pummeled CV 75-51 using a monster 26-8 second quarter advantage to pull away. Pasadena (14-5, 7-0) used the skill and athleticism of Bryce Hamilton, Darius Brown and Darius Mason in that game, as it has done all season.
“It’s going to be tough, but we just have to come out prepared and execute,” Ballard said.
The Falcons just spent the last four games on the road – boasting a 3-1 record – before hosting Burbank. Now they’ll have to load up the bus again for a date with the league’s best.
“Our wins aren’t pretty, but we’re starting to catch our stride now,” Zargarian said.
CVHS Soccer update
The CVHS girls’ soccer team has had a busy, if not frustrating, week. On Monday the Falcons lost to Arcadia in a matchup of the Pacific League’s top two teams. The Apaches won 2-1, to assert itself alone at the top. Both teams square off against one another at Arcadia High School in the regular season finale on Feb. 9. On Tuesday CV traveled to Burbank and came away with a tie, 3-3, against the Bulldogs.
As it currently stands in league, Arcadia is first with a 9-0-0 record. CV is second at 7-1-1. Burroughs is third at 6-2-0.
The Lady Falcons are home to Pasadena on Friday at 3:15 p.m.
The CV boys’ soccer team dominated Burbank on Tuesday, 4-0 at CVHS. The Falcons scored three times in the first half and then scored late in the second for the final tally. On Monday, they fared a little better against Arcadia than the CV girls did, as they tied the Apaches 1-1. The Falcons are 6-2-1 in league, tied with Burroughs, which is 7-2-0.
The Falcons are at Pasadena High School on Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Village Christian Basketball Update
The Village Christian Lady Crusaders received some bad news this past week regarding one of their most important players. Center Mercy Odima, the team’s starting center, will be out three to five weeks after tests showed she suffered a hairline fracture on her left ankle in the Jan. 16 game against Oaks Christian. Head Coach Jon Sampang said the team hopes to have Odima back by the playoffs. Odima is averaging 12 points and 11 rebounds this season.
VCS beat Maranatha 63-38 on Tuesday to improve to 20-3 overall, 3-1 in the Olympic League. The team is at Valley Christian on Friday at 6 p.m.
The Crusader boys’ basketball team is 13-8, 0-4 in the Olympic League after losing to Maranatha (4-0 in league) 77-47 on Tuesday. They play at Valley Christian on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Rosemont Kicks Off New Football, Volleyball Seasons
Both the Rosemont Middle School flag football and girls’ volleyball teams began their seasons on Jan. 19 at Roosevelt Middle School against the Rough Riders. Both Spartan teams came away victorious.
Here is how the rest of the schedule for both teams line up. Game times are always 3:30 p.m.
Jan. 26 Toll @ Rosemont
Feb. 2 Rosemont @ Wilson
Feb. 6 Rosemont @ Toll
Feb. 9 Roosevelt @ Rosemont
Feb. 15 Wilson @ Rosemont