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Division I-A: Greco scores 37 points to lead Falcons past J.W. North, 55-52.

March 06, 1997|FRANK CARULLI | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

GLENDALE — Michelle Greco knew if she wanted to make her dreams come true, she would have to carry Crescenta Valley High to the Southern Section Division I-A final.

That's exactly what she did.

Greco scored 37 points, including two free throws with 23 seconds left that clinched the Falcons' 55-52 victory over J.W. North on Wednesday night at Hoover High.

The Falcons (28-2) play in the division final against Buena on Friday night at the Pyramid in Long Beach.

"I knew before the game that I would have to step it up," said Greco, who had eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. "With Tara [Gregory] out, I had to put the team on my shoulders to earn this win."

Gregory, one of Crescenta Valley's best players, missed the game because of a sprained ankle and her status for the championship game is in doubt.

The Falcons made only three shots in the first quarter, which ended with the Huskies (24-4) leading, 14-9.

Crescenta Valley scored its first three times down the court in the second quarter, but did not take its first lead of the game until Greco's drive put the Falcons ahead, 24-23, with 3:08 left in the half.

The Huskies, however, continued their ball-control offense to lead at halftime, 27-26.

Greco scored 10 of the Falcons' 15 points and forced several Husky turnovers in the third quarter. Sinnamonn Garrett came off the bench to score nine points and contributed three key rebounds in the quarter.

Crescenta Valley took the lead for good, 37-36, with 3:09 remaining in the third quarter when Greco converted a pass from Michelle Rowan into a basket.

After the game, Falcon Coach Marc Ward agreed with Greco's philosophy.

"She wanted the ball, and I told her to take it," Ward said. "With Gregory out, we had to let Michelle take over."

Julia Gray scored 18 points and Sharee Sykes added 12 points and six rebounds for J.W. North.

The Falcons' defense did an excellent job in the fourth quarter, keeping the Huskies on the perimeter.

The tough defense caused J.W. North to miss several three-point shots.

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