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Crescenta Valley girls' basketball rebounds to down Burbank

January 15, 2014|By Emin Avakian, Special to the Glendale News-Press
  • Crescenta Valley's Liana Esmaili drives the ball with Burbank's Sharis Ghazeri in pursuit during a Pacific League game at Burbank High on Wednesday. (Roger Wilson/Staff Photographer)
Crescenta Valley's Liana Esmaili drives the ball…

BURBANK — Just two days removed from enduring its first loss in Pacific League play this season, the Crescenta Valley High girls’ basketball team prevailed with potent play down the stretch in a tightly contested matchup with host Burbank on Wednesday.

After trailing at halftime, the Falcons took the lead two minutes into the third quarter on a pair of jumpers from Ella Stepanian and never looked back, as they rebounded from the loss on Monday to beat the Bulldogs, 56-51.

PHOTOS: Crescenta Valley girls' basketball rebounds to down Burbank

Stepanian scored all 10 of her points in the second half, while also playing the role of distributor. Alisa Shinn led all scorers with 24 points, and was the recipient of a few of those passes, much to her and Falcons Coach Jason Perez’ delight.

“Our plan was to go to the post and create double teams, but our thing is that we draw up plans and also have an alternative plan,” Shinn said. “I think we did well, but as Falcons, we can always fly higher. We pulled together, did amazing and I couldn’t be prouder.”


Shinn scored eight of the team’s nine points in the first quarter. Neither team was able to create a comfortable cushion in the first half, but the Bulldogs (10-8, 2-2) carried momentum into halftime, as they finished the second quarter on a 9-4 run to take a 20-19 lead after 16 minutes of play.

“At the end of the half, I thought they were out hustling and outplaying us,” said Perez, whose team improved to 12-6 overall and 3-1 in league. “I was a little upset and I got on them about that. In the second half, we didn’t have any more defensive breakdowns and on offense, the ball went where it needed to go.

Stepanian came out in the third quarter aggressive on both ends, especially in the early stages of the third quarter, as she first found Josie Brock for a basket. Stepanian’s jump shot with 6:06 to play bestowed her first points of the game and preceded a steal on the other end that resulted in her second field goal — this one giving Crescenta Valley a 25-24 lead that would not be relinquished.

On the ensuing possession, Stepanian rebounded Burbank’s missed shot and found Shinn on the other side of the court for a layup

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