PASADENA — With one final possession remaining and the game in the balance, it was somewhat obvious as to where the visiting Crescenta Valley High and Muir boys’ basketball teams would turn for a bucket.
What was unknown was exactly how big a role a pair of Arins would play on the final two possessions.
“Watching [Ovanessian] play, you’d never think we was a sophomore,” Falcons Coach Shawn Zargarian said. “He’s cool, calm and collected and there’s a reason why he’s on varsity and there’s a reason why he started.
“As for [Pezeshkian], I know he’s been having trouble with his shot, but he can help in other ways and he’s been doing that on defense. He came out this game and did a great job.”
Crescenta Valley (13-8, 7-2 in league) trailed by as many as 11 points in the fourth, but pulled to within a point on two free throws from Berj Krikorian (seven points) and had possession with 29 seconds left, trailing, 47-46, after a timeout.
Out of the break, Ovanessian inbounded to Krikorian, who tried to feed Falcons forward Eric Patten, who was double-teamed.
Eventually Patten took possession past the three-point line with 16 seconds left as Muir (7-12, 4-5) denied the 6-foot-6 forward both the paint and the elbow.
Patten passed to Ovanessian, a junior varsity call-up, who buried the game-winning three-pointer from the corner with 10 seconds left.
“The plan was to get the ball to the big man and I was trying,” said Ovanessian, a junior varsity call-up who scored seven points. “When my guy started sagging off me I thought I had a chance to take a shot and I did.”
The bucket gave Crescenta Valley a 49-47 lead, the Falcons’ first advantage since 2-0.
“All I saw was Arin get open and I thought, honestly, if he gets the ball he’s going to make his shot,” said Patten, who led the Falcons with 21 points and 16 rebounds. “He’s a sophomore, but he stepped up big-time on varsity.”
The three-pointer led to a timeout from the Mustangs, who immediately went to Williams.
Williams, who scored 15 points, dribbled near the top of the three-point line before a swipe of the ball from Pezeshkian knocked the ball off Williams’ knee.
The Mustangs’ senior scrambled for the ball and reclaimed possession with two seconds left as Muir Coach Simone Stewart frantically called for a timeout.
Pezeshkian’s defensive play proved vital as Williams was only able to chuck a Hail Mary try after the stoppage as time expired to preserve the win.
“We had total faith in [Pezeshkian]. I knew he could rise to the challenge,” Patten said.
Crescenta Valley, which fell behind, 42-31, after a steal and layup from Jhamir Jenkins with 6:24 remaining, closed out the quarter with an 18-6 run that was started on a three-pointer from Eric Bae (14 points and six rebounds) with six minutes left.
The Falcons pulled within two possessions, at 44-39, on an offensive putback by Patten with 4:31 left before climbing to 44-42 on a pair of free throws from Patten at 3:20.
Crescenta Valley’s late offense was just enough to overcome a four-point first quarter, an 18-point first half and a 37-31 deficit after three quarters.