By Austin Green
It may have been senior night, but Crescenta Valley High School girls’ basketball head coach Jason Perez still played his entire 16-player roster as the Falcons crushed visiting Burbank High School, doubling the Bulldogs’ point total in a 62-31 blowout.
CV limited Burbank to single-digit scoring in each of the first three quarters.
Meanwhile, freshman Kylie Ray scored 10 points in the second quarter alone, becoming one of three Falcons to finish with double-digit scoring alongside sophomore forward Victoria Prochazka and senior guard Tatiana Minassian, who finished with 12 and 11, respectively.
“One of our strengths is that we are so deep,” CV head coach Jason Perez said. “We’re really deep at the guard position, we’re getting much better at the post position and center, and we’re young.”
Even though eight Falcons players — exactly half of the entire varsity roster — are freshmen and sophomores, it was the five seniors who got CV off to a hot start, as Perez changed up his usual starting rotation to Emily Khani, Hannah Tanita, Katrina Minassian, Tatiana Minassian and Katelyn Coste. That group jumped out to an early 10-4 lead by the time all five were subbed out at once in the first quarter, led by five points each from Tatiana Minassian and Katrina Minassian.
The bench squad kept the momentum up, even though this group was led by two freshmen — Ray and point guard Lulu Arzoumanian, who found Ray wide open on several cuts toward the basket and whose passing ability is drawing rave reviews from her coaches.
“She puts her head up looking to make the offense go,” CV assistant coach Michael Flot said after the game. “She’s a freshman who understands fastbreaks and movement.”
On the other side of the court, Burbank had a difficult time getting into a rhythm on offense. The Bulldogs had nearly twice as many turnovers (25) as made field goals (13). Head coach Jett Del Mundo credited CV’s mental toughness and competitiveness for outclassing that of his team, something he hopes to change going forward.
“The better team won because they wanted it more than we did,” Del Mundo said. “We never really got going. And a lot of that had to do with CV being all over the place and they wanted the ball more. They scrapped for everything they got. Every 50-50 ball they won. They wanted it more.”
Among the bright spots of Burbank’s performance on Tuesday came from two of their post players, center Jasmine Moss and forward Karen Casillas. The pair combined for 24 of the Bulldogs’ 31 points, 18 of which came from Casillas alone. Casillas went 7 for 9 from the field while the rest of her teammates went a combined 6 for 29.
“Karen needs to be on the floor and she needs to play and she hasn’t played enough lately,” Del Mundo said. “It took her a while with the COVID situation to kind of get everything in order and get ourselves squared away so that she’s comfortable on the court.”
CV, meanwhile, got scoring contributions from Prochazka (12 points), Tatiana Minassian (11), Ray (10), Katrina Minassian (five), sophomore wing Saleen Marganian (four), Coste (four), sophomore guard Taleen Krikorian (four), Khani (three), Arzoumanian (three), sophomore guard Melissa Dayang (two), Tanita (two) and junior center Amee Petrossian (two).
The Falcons improved to 4-2 on the season and 4-0 in the Pacific League. Burbank dropped to 4-4 overall (1-3 in the Pacifc League). CV got its biggest test of the season on Friday against a powerhouse Pasadena squad while Burbank played Arcadia.