In a year in which the Pacific League boasted quite a few talented individuals, senior Eric Patten and his Crescenta Valley High boys’ basketball team shined as brightly as anyone.
The Falcons forward was rewarded for his and his team’s success as Patten was named the Pacific League’s co-Player of the Year, along with Pasadena High’s Ajon Efferson, while coach of the year honors were bestowed on Crescenta Valley’s Shawn Zargarian. Hoover and Glendale also claimed their own accolades on the recently-released league awards.
“It’s really cool to share the award with Ajon,” Patten said. “I don’t think there were two players in the league who were more deserving. Maybe I got lucky, but this was a great season.”
Patten averaged a team-leading 18.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game in leading the Falcons to a 20-9 overall record and a 12-2 mark in league, which tied the Falcons with Pasadena for a co-league title.
The crown was the first for Crescenta Valley since 2004 and advanced the Falcons as the league’s No. 1 seed in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division I-AA playoffs, where they fell to formidable Orange Lutheran, 59-49.
“To do something that hasn’t been done in 10 years is amazing,” said Patten, who is putting college on hold in pursuit of a Mormon mission this fall.
Crescenta Valley’s run to a title is remarkable considering the team was 3-2 in league after a defeat at Pasadena, 65-57, on Jan. 17.
From that point on, however, the Falcons closed out the regular season with a nine-game winning streak that included wins over Burroughs and Pasadena (who had both beaten the Falcons previously) and was capped by a 56-47 win at Arcadia in the season finale that clinched a share of the elusive league title.
In leading the Falcons to a title, Zargarian took home the league’s highest coaching accolade.
“Because that award comes from other coaches within the league, it’s a great honor,” Zargarian said. “I wish I could share that award with the guys on my staff because without them this program wouldn’t be where it is today.”
The Falcons and Tornadoes both had a player named to the Pacific League’s first team in Crescenta Valley senior guard Eric Bae and Hoover senior guard Teo Davidian.
Bae averaged nine points and 3.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 37% from behind the arc.
“He reached and surpassed expectations,” Zargarian said of Bae. “You don’t think he’s capable of hitting the big shots, but he did. I mean in all honesty, as a team, we don’t pass the eye test.
“But you look at a guy like [Bae], who has to guard [Muir’s] Dejon Williams or [Amaad] Wainwright from Burroughs or Ajon and he didn’t have the luxury of a night off.”
Davidian helped pace Hoover to a 14-12 record, a Providence Tournament consolation championship and a sweep of city archrival Glendale.
For the season, Davidian averaged 17 points per game.
“His scoring stats could have been up a lot higher if he would have just been allowed to focus on his shooting,” Hoover Coach Jack Van Patten said. “But we needed a point guard and he was the only guy we were comfortable with bringing the ball upcourt. He could handle the ball well and so he was our point guard. He was our most versatile guy.”
Crescenta Valley junior guards Berj Krikorian (8.6 points and 3.8 assist per game) and Kyle Currie (7.6 points and a 43% three-point shooter) were named as Pacific League second-teamers.
Hoover’s Chris Sarkian, Glendale’s Alex Miralis and Crescenta Valley’s Arin Ovanessian (6.3 points per game, 45% shooter from the three-point line) were named honorable mentions.