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Falcons run out of time

A furious comeback attempt falls short, as CV loses to No. 2 seed, 10-9, in semifinals.

February 24, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

WALNUT — While the Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo team's opponent on Wednesday night, Temescal Canyon, proved itself every bit worthy of its No. 2 seed and the finals berth it now owns in the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs, one couldn't help but get the feeling that the Titans may have been saved by the buzzer.

So sudden and furious was the rally the third-seeded Falcons staged in the fourth quarter of their 10-9 loss in the quarterfinals at Mount San Antonio College that Temescal Canyon hardly resembled the same team that a quarter earlier seemed a goal or two from achieving a blowout, as the Titans scrambled down the stretch to keep their lead from dwindling away completely.

"We definitely thought that if we just had a few more moments, we could have had them," said Falcons utility Kim Fraisse, who led her team with six goals.

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Crescenta Valley (23-4) didn't score in the second quarter and saw Temescal Canyon (23-5) push its three-goal halftime lead as high as 7-2 early in the third.

It was near the midpoint of the third quarter that the Falcons began to get off the mat, as Fraisse scored twice, first on a mid-range skip shot at the 4:06 mark, followed by five-meter shot with 3:12 to go.

But Temescal Canyon still led by four goals going into the fourth after Lauren Thatcher, who led the Titans with six goals, got by Adrienne Ingalla and goalkeeper Shelby Gregg, who left the cage to challenge, on a counter and sank an uncontested shot.

"Any time at this stage of the playoffs you can get up by three or four goals, that's big because it's hard to overcome," Temescal Canyon Coach Damien Andrews said. "They made a great run, but having that cushion really helped."

And the Titans would certainly need all of that cushion. After the teams traded goals to open the fourth period, Crescenta Valley held Temescal Canyon scoreless for a span of 4:24.

"Our defense definitely picked up in the second half," said Gregg, who played the second half in goal. "I think it helps when we start making that comeback, everybody starts getting fierce."

At the 6:00 mark, Fraisse found enough daylight on a reset to get a shot off and brought the team back within three goals. On their next possession, the Falcons went to Sabrina Hatzer, whose long attempt was field blocked, which actually helped change the angle of the shot and get the ball past goalkeeper Lina Medeiros (nine saves) to cut the lead to 9-7 with 5:11 to go.

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