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CV gets it done in 4th

Basketball: Falcons girls rally past Glendale, 41-37, on strength of fourth-quarter comeback.

January 23, 2012|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

LA CRESCENTA — Upon the conclusion of the first three quarters of Monday evening's Pacific League girls' basketball tilt, Glendale High was leading each and every time.

But as the Nitros' rebounding edge began to wane and a short-lived free-throw battle went heavily in the favor of host Crescenta Valley, it was Falcons Coach Jason Perez who was breathing a sigh of relief and Glendale Coach Tania Adary who was clearly frustrated.

Off a brilliant pass by Ella Stepanian, who scored eight fourth-quarter points including going four-for-four from the line, Sydney Cummings scored the game-winner before Stepanian wrapped up a 41-37 Crescenta Valley win with two free throws in the final seconds.

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"It was a tough game. The girls had to will their way to a win," said Perez, whose team improved to 12-8, 4-4 in league despite trailing, 28-23, with 2:22 left in the third quarter. "They didn't play well, they didn't play their best, but we found a way to win."

For Glendale (9-10, 3-5), it was a far different story, as it lost its sixth game of the season by four points or less, including a 38-35 loss against CV on Jan. 3.

"It's just been a broken record for us," Adary said. "We're in a position to close it out and we've probably finished like one of the last nine times we've had that chance [dating back to last year].

"I really thought we would step up."

For the better part of three quarters, the Nitros did step up and, in contrast, Stepanian was being shut down, but she came through in the fourth quarter.

"As a good player, you step up in the fourth quarter, and she did," Adary said.

Stepanian, who had two points and two rebounds at halftime, finished with 11 points and six rebounds. It was a Stepanian jumper with 4:16 to go in the game that brought CV to within 34-33 before her layup with 3:40 left gave the Falcons their first lead of the game since the they were ahead 4-2 early in the opening stanza.

Glendale answered right back, however, as Kristineh Zadorian buried a triple at the 3:18 mark to go back up, 37-35. It was the last time the Nitros would score.

Stepanian, a sophomore forward, tied the game with 2:22 to go on a pair of free throws before bringing the ball up and finding a wide-open Cummings for her only basket of the game.

"[Stepanian] had a bad game the whole game, but fourth quarter ... she stepped it up big time," said Perez, who added that Stepanian was also playing sick.

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