GRANADA HILLS – The mistakes began to mount for Valencia before it even tipped off Monday night against Crescenta Valley.
Several players arrived at Granada Hills Charter later than what the schedule called for, forcing Vikings coach Bill Bedgood to make some last-minute lineup changes.
Valencia was unable to regroup in a 92-76 loss to Crescenta Valley in the Ed Baker San Fernando Valley Invitational quarterfinals.
“We’ve got to clean that stuff up,” Bedgood said of the pregame situation. “The guys have to be ready to go. Their team was on time, our team was running late. … There’s no excuse for that.”
A Zach Hawkins 3-pointer at the buzzer in the third quarter put the Vikings down by six going into the fourth. Hawkins, who had 18 points, hit five 3s in the third quarter.
“It was good to see him get hot,” Bedgood said. “That was probably the best he’s shot all year.”
Nobody was hotter than Crescenta Valley’s Arman Pezeshkian, who led all players with 42 points. He converted back-to-back and-ones, including a four-point play, putting the Vikings in a 14-point hole early in the fourth quarter.
“I thought they played more like a team and we played like five individuals at times,” Bedgood said. “At times, we had individuals do great things. But our flow wasn’t great.
“The guys weren’t feeding off each other and we weren’t running the sets we’re usually good at running.”
Bedgood partially attributed the lack of rhythm to a Crescenta Valley press that raged on for nearly the entire contest.
“We’re usually the ones who like to try and get teams out of sync,” Bedgood said. “But we were the ones out of sync tonight.”
A 3-pointer from Dexter Akanno, who led Valencia (4-3) with 25 points and nine rebounds, cut Crescenta Valley’s (5-2) lead to 11 with 5:25 to play in the game. But that’s as close as the Vikings would get the rest of the way.
Pezeshkian hit six 3-pointers and teammate Chris Arzoumanian matched him with six of his own, ending with 23 points. Valencia’s Lake Ballard had 10 points – all coming in the first half – and Josh Assiff added 11 points off the bench.
Valencia will play either Grant on Tuesday night at Granada Hills. A win tomorrow would secure a top-six finish in the 16-team tournament.
NOTES – A decision on the eligibility of Golden Valley junior transfer Richard Kawakami this season has yet to be rendered by CIF. There hasn’t been a timetable set in place for the decision, according to Bedgood, who said he’s confident Kawakami will be cleared. Kawakami was voted to the All-Foothill League second team last season.