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Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball rallies for wild OT win over Glendale

Basketball: Falcons overcome late seven-point deficit to force extra time and win, 65-62.

January 28, 2014|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com

GLENDALE — Down seven points and two players with momentum clearly against it, it could be argued that all the ingredients for one of the bigger Pacific League boys’ basketball upsets was lining up again visiting Crescenta Valley High.

Maybe the lone aspect in the Falcons’ favor versus Glendale was poise.

And on Tuesday afternoon, Crescenta Valley’s calmness under fire prevailed.

The Falcons scored seven of the final eight points in regulation to force overtime and then nine of the first 11 points in overtime in winning, 65-62, over the Nitros, while also keeping their league title aspirations afloat.

“I really enjoy coaching these guys and they’re always prepared before every game,” Falcons Coach Shawn Zargarian said. “They understand what they need to do, so even when we’re down, every guy knows what he needs to do. Nobody panics. They just play and today they pulled it out.”

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After Crescenta Valley (12-8, 6-2) opened overtime with a three-pointer from senior guard Eric Bae, the Nitros (7-13, 2-6) eventually pulled back to within a point after a pair of free throws from junior forward Gevork Sarkissian with 1:42 left.

Crescenta Valley immediately went back to Bae (17 points), who missed on a running jumper from the baseline. Fortunately for the Falcons, reserve guard Chris Bouchard came flying through the lane for a pivotal offensive rebound, was fouled by Sarkissian with 1:16 left and hit one of two free-throw attempts to give Crescenta Valley a 60-58 advantage.

While the Falcons came up with a big offensive board, the Nitros struggled before eventually turning the ball over for their fourth turnover of the four-minute session.

The mistake proved costly when Falcons junior guard Berj Krikorian knifed through the lane for a layup with 32 seconds left that gave the Falcons a 62-58 lead.

“We just took whatever the defense was going to give us and on that play they gave me the lane,” said Krikorian, who totaled a game-high 21 points. “We have a lot of weapons on this team and we believed we could come back.”

Glendale tried one last time to close within a possession, but missed on a three-point try and was forced to quickly foul the Falcons again.

Bae, who was fouled, sank two game-clinching free throws, which gave the Falcons an insurmountable 64-58 lead.

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