After making a run all the way to the CIF Southern Section Division 1-A semifinals a season ago, perhaps many didn't think another lengthy playoff run was in the cards for the Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball team after it lost four starters.
But after Tuesday night, the Falcons are a win away from reaching the semifinals once again.
Cole Currie, the team’s only returning starter, put up a game-high 28 points to propel the visiting Falcons to a 63-51 victory in the second round of the CIF Division 1-A tournament.
“I think that’s just a testament to our team and our coaching staff,” said Currie of the Falcons getting back to the quarterfinals. “We kind of have an us-against-the-world mentality because so many people doubted us. We believe in each other 100% and it’s gotten us this far and we’ve got a lot left to get done.”
With the victory, Crescenta Valley (22-7) will now host Long Beach Millikan on Friday night in a quarterfinal showdown. Millikan defeated San Clemente, 82-72, on Tuesday.
The Falcons, who’ve experienced success throughout the season with their three-point shooting, hit eight from long distance on Tuesday.
Currie, who added five rebounds and four assists, had three, as did Kris Jabourian, who scored all nine of his points on threes and added six boards. Nick Springer, who also had six rebounds, added two from distance on a 14-point night. Elliot Wilson also chipped in eight points.
The Falcons won every quarter, but never by more than a four-point margin, but it added up to a double-digit win.
“It felt like we were always up ahead, but never really comfortably,” said Falcons Coach Shawn Zargarian, whose team led, 35-28, at the half and 50-42 heading into the fourth. “We did a good job of maintaining and keeping the lead.”
Zargarian said the two biggest keys going in and, in turn, the game plan his team carried out was defending the three-point line and pressuring the guards of Edison (17-12).
Thus, the Falcons are back in the quarterfinals for a second straight season.
“Every game that finishes, I feel so proud of our guys,” Zargarian said. “And they keep one-upping it every time.”