First published in the Feb. 24 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
By Nathan Cambridge
In a tight game decided in the fourth quarter, host Crescenta Valley surged ahead and held on to come away with a 56-52 victory over Maranatha High School in CIF-Southern Section Division 2A first-round action.
The game brought an end to the season for Maranatha (12-13 record).
“We’re good. We only have one senior on the team, so we’ll be back,” Maranatha coach Tim Tucker said. “So, you know, the future is bright.”
Nothing was decided after three quarters with the score knotted at 37-37. The Falcons scored the first five of the period when Allen Boghossian drained a three-pointer from the corner off an inbounds pass, and next time down the court Quinlin Daly sunk a jumper off an assist by Gavin Shaghoian. This ignited a 17-6 Falcon run to seize control, with Daly accounting for nine of the points. The senior had an awkward shot, seemingly pushing the ball up and through the rim, making the score 54-43 just before Maranatha called a timeout with 2:15 to play.
After the timeout, playing to keep their season alive, the Minutemen went on a 7-0 run. Big-man Terrance Hampton Jr. made a three-pointer, Martin Zarzuela hit two free throws, followed by a putback by Hampton to draw within four at 54-50 with a minute to play.
Down the stretch, the Falcons almost gave the game away at the free throw line by missing the front end of three straight one-and-one opportunities over the final 1:19. However, with eight seconds left, Boghossian hit both free throws with the Falcons now in the double bonus following the Minutemen’s 10th foul.
Maranatha’s Alec Smith made a lay-up with three seconds to go to set the final margin.
Hampton shared game-high honors with 25 points, and his inside play was what kept Maranatha in the game. The junior notched seven points in the first, second and fourth quarters.
“[Hampton] played a great game for us. You can’t ask for anything more from him,” Tucker said. “Terrance has been carrying us all year long.”
The Minutemen, who made the playoffs as an at-large entry, had freshman Nicholas Khatchikian score 10 points off the bench. Paxton Pope recorded six points while Martin Zarzuela, Smith and Russell Williams scored five, four and two points, respectively.
In the first quarter, Crescenta Valley built a 9-2 advantage before Maranatha surged ahead with a 8-0 burst.
The final points of the second period came on a Pope three-pointer that made the score 25-25 at halftime. After Maranatha made the first bucket of the third quarter, Daly went on a personal 7-0 run, only to see the Minutemen march back and score the next seven to retake the lead.
When the dust settled at the end of the third, both teams had notched 12 points in the quarter and the score remained tied going into the fourth.
“Obviously, drawing a team like Maranatha in the first round [is tough],” CV coach Shawn Zargarian said. “I know they are an at-large team, but I’ve had a lot of battles with Tuck when he was with Pasadena. I expected nothing less than what just happened.”