Reportedly, Crescenta Valley tried to pick the Hoover team up in its bus, but there wasn’t enough room, so there was even further delay as the Tornadoes waited for another bus.
The Tornadoes eventually arrived and the Falcons promptly went about their business, cruising to a 15-6 victory.
“I liked to see they were able to hit their passes and put their shots away,” said Crescenta Valley Coach Jan Sakonju of his Falcons, who sprinted out to a 7-2 first-quarter lead that essentially put the game out of reach. “That’s been a problem all year.
“That’s what we need, is our focus going into Glendale and Arcadia.”
The Falcons (14-8, 5-0 in league), ranked seventh in CIF Southern Section Division VI, now enter their toughest league stretch, facing the Nitros yesterday (games scores were unavailable at press time) before a showdown with archrival Arcadia, ranked first in the division, on Tuesday.
“It’s kind of like a sigh of relief [to get to this point], but, also, the pressure’s on,” said Mason Takidin, who notched a team-high five goals for the Falcons, all in the first half.
For Hoover (4-8, 1-4), just getting mentally ready to play the defending league champions is always task enough, but after the unforeseen circumstances on Tuesday, it was even tougher.
“We didn’t have any focus,” Hoover Coach Matt Jung said. “CV’s so good every year, it’s hard to get ready to play them [because of the mystique they have].
“We were really pumped to be at home, too. You kind of lose a little bit [of focus when the game’s moved].”
Hoover got two goals each from Zorre Karibyan and Jano Boghossian and one apiece from Arman Agopian and Eric Babakhani.
But the offensive highlights clearly came from Crescenta Valley. The Falcons scored five straight goals in a span that ended the opening quarter and began the second. It led to an 11-3 halftime lead, as Crescenta Valley won the shot battle, 21-6.
For the match, Crescenta Valley outshot Hoover, 34-14.
A combination of a more lax Falcons approach and a more focused Tornadoes outlook led to a competitive second half.
“Our guys picked it up,” said Jung, whose team was outscored just 4-3 in the second half.
The Tornadoes would get no closer than 12-5, though.
Bryan Redfern, James Hales, Alan Dearman and Tristan Winterhalter had two goals each for the Falcons.
Nelson White and Mason Holland had a goal apiece. Many of the Falcons’ goals came in transition, as they made good use of Tornadoes’ turnovers and, in turn, converted accurate passes into pinpoint shots.
“You [can] really see the level of change [from the beginning of the season], we’re more of a team now,” Takidin said.
“We’re ready to take league now, hopefully.”