LA CRESCENTA — Though the Crescenta Valley High and Burroughs boys’ basketball teams are going in opposite directions in the Pacific League, nobody was about to convince Chris Chemlkeian of that.
The Crescenta Valley High senior guard and his teammates were well-aware that the Indians have struggled and are at the bottom of the league standings. Still, Chemlkeian had a job to do Monday night with the Falcons contending for a league championship.
Chemlkeian turned in a career performance, as he finished with a game-high 26 points, including 24 from three-point territory, to lift host Crescenta Valley to a 77-49 victory.
“We knew about Burroughs [struggling], so the last thing we wanted was to be taking them lightly,” said Chemlkeian, who had 21 first-half points and helped Crescenta Valley (15-6, 7-1 in league) stay within one game of first-place Pasadena, which recorded a 78-48 league win against host Glendale on Monday night. “We had to come out and take care of business and we couldn’t play lackadaisical because if we let them stick around then they start to believe and it might be a different kind of game.
“We were able to execute and run our plays. The ball came to me and I felt like I could get going.”
The Falcons made 16 shots from three-point territory, leading to them completing a two-game series sweep of the Indians (3-18, 1-7).
Burroughs Coach Adam Hochberg, a former assistant on the Glendale Community College men’s basketball team, said the Indians had difficulty guarding the hot-shooting Falcons.
“We did a terrible job on defense,” said Hochberg, whose team dropped to 1-11 in its last 12 games. “We gave up too many three-pointers.
“They are so good and well-coached. We’ve been holding teams to 20% shooting from threes. You make 16 of them, you are probably going to win.”
Chemlkeian made three three-pointers in a 57-second span in the first quarter. Chemlkeian’s final one in the opening stanza gave the Falcons a 16-8 lead with 1:39 remaining.
Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian said Chemlkeian had recently encountered a shooting slump, but Chemlkeian looked to break out of that Monday with a big effort.
“He’s a good shooter and a good offensive player,” said Zargarian, who received 13 points and 10 rebounds from senior center Christian Misi and eight points and 10 rebounds from junior forward Davis Dragovich. “They found him and he shot the ball with confidence.
“The more he made the more confident he got.”
Crescenta Valley held a 46-24 halftime advantage.
The Falcons received nine points from senior guard Vinnie Espinoza, eight points and five assists from junior guard Dylan Kilgour and seven points and five assists from sophomore shooting guard Cole Currie.
The Indians, who suffered a 79-47 home loss against the Falcons on Jan. 4, got 13 points from senior wing David Shaw and 12 from junior wing Austyn Thompson.