First published in the Dec. 18 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
When two undefeated Pacific League girls’ basketball teams met on the court on Thursday, only one walked away happy. Those emotions went to Crescenta Valley High School as it took sole possession of first place and remained unbeaten in league play after defeating visiting Burbank High, 54-31.
The matchup was primarily decided by the Falcons’ dominant first quarter, which limited the Bulldogs (3-1 in league, 7-5 overall) to six points and ended it on an 18-0 scoring run.
“They came out with energy,” said CVHS head coach Michael Flot, whose team improved to 4-0 in league (5-5 overall). “The pregame speech was all about energy, communication defense, box out, rebound — the fundamentals of basketball that I try to preach every single day — and it paid off.”
CV’s Lulu Arzoumanian scored all eight of her points in the first quarter, including a four-point play with 44 seconds remaining, to open up an 18-6 lead. She also had five assists and three steals, both team-highs, and four rebounds the rest of the way.
Teammate Kristen Olavi then added a basket to give CV a 14-point lead.
Burbank could not recover as Crescenta Valley continued to extend its lead behind Kylie Ray’s 15 points and five rebounds and Victoria Prochazka’s 12 points, nine rebounds and two steals.
“Kylie was fantastic,” Flot said. “She was playing with the intensity to win. She was ready to play defense, ready to help, ready to recover and she played smart offense.”
The Falcons outscored Burbank every quarter except for the second when each team scored 10 points. CV also had 10 players score in the game compared to Burbank’s four.
Falcon Melissa Dayag recorded six points, three rebounds and one steal, Kristen Olavi had four points and two rebounds and Saleen Marganian added three points. Teammates Taleen Kirikorian, Amee Petrossian, Tara Arouchain and Natalie Partikian each had two points.
The first-place Pacific League Falcons will enjoy nearly three weeks off before resuming play at Hoover High in a league matchup on Jan. 4 at 5 p.m.