LA CRESCENTA — With a couple of starters on the Crescenta Valley High girls' basketball team unlikely to play this season because of injuries, there are some opportunities for reserve players to step up and fill the vacancies.
Count Jackie Wilson among the group looking to pick up some valuable experience.
Wilson finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds and five steals Wednesday night to lead Crescenta Valley to a 39-35 win against Blair in a foul-filled pool-play game of the Falcon Classic.
“I was a little nervous in the beginning, but I just remembered the things we have done in practice,” said Wilson, a junior guard who had seven first-half points. “This game can be a confidence booster for the next few games.”
The Falcons, who qualified for the playoffs last season, will probably be without starting guards Ella Stepanian and Grace Trueblood for the season. Stepanian and Trueblood are each recovering from knee injuries.
Crescenta Valley Coach Jason Perez said there's a possibility that the Falcons will mix and match with their lineups on a game-by-game basis.
“It can be a different group most every night,” said Perez, who received 11 points from Tanisha Minassian. “With Jackie, you saw somebody who was willing and who could step up for somebody playing in their first varsity game.”
The game lacked flow, as 38 personal fouls were called (23 in the first half). Crescenta Valley (1-0) limited Blair (0-2) to seven fourth-quarter points after Blair built a 28-27 lead through three quarters.
Blair second-year Coach Lee Aptaker said the Vikings, who got 16 points and 12 rebounds from forward Kayla Pounds, ran out of steam in the fourth quarter.
“We got in a tough spot with some fouls, but I'm really happy with the way we played,” said Aptaker, who got six points and nine rebounds from forward Gwen Anderson. “We were up in the fourth quarter, and we felt good.”
A basket by Sydney Cummings gave Crescent Valley a 39-35 lead with 1:44 remaining.
Blair held a 22-21 halftime advantage despite Pounds picking up her fourth personal foul with 3:59 left in the first half and the Vikings leading 16-11. She returned with 5:38 remaining in the third quarter with Crescenta Valley holding a 27-22 lead..
Crescenta Valley will meet West Ranch in another pool-play game at 7:45 p.m. Thursday, while Blair will have a bye.