PASADENA -- In the span of five days, the Muir High boys’ basketball
team has gone from seemingly invincible to the third-place team in the
Inspired by press clippings published earlier in the month, Crescenta
Valley became the third consecutive team to accomplish what was thought
to be an impossible feat just a few weeks ago.
Breaking the Mustangs’ full-court pressure with composure and
consistency, attacking Muir’srelentless half-court man-to-man defense
with numerous back-door cuts and hitting crucial jump shots down the
stretch, CV executed its gameplan to near perfection Tuesday, resulting
in a 61-56 victory on the road.
“The thing that I’m so proud of as a coach is how well every single
guy executed the gameplan,” said Falcon Coach Adam Jacobsen, whose squad
recorded the program’s first victory at Muir since Feb. 3, 1995.
“But it seems like every time this team is presented with a big
challenge, they step up, and that’s a very comforting feeling for a
“But like I told them, ‘enjoy tonight, but come [today] it’s time to
get ready for Glendale [on the road Friday].’ We’re in control of our own
destiny halfway through league and if we take care of business, we should
be right there at the end.”
There had been a number of almosts or shoulda-coulda-wouldas for the
Falcons (15-6, 4-1 in league) since 1995 -- when they won, 69-63, in
overtime, with Jacobsen’s younger brother, Brock, scoring a game-high 41
points, including seven in the extra period -- but during the final three
quarters Tuesday, it was apparent that CV wasn’t going to fall victim to
another close call.
Jacobsen’s squad rebounded from an early seven-point deficit to go on
a 21-9 run and take a four-point lead into the half.
Then, after the teams traded baskets to open the third quarter, CV
finally broke away and built as much as an 11-point advantage early in
Senior point guard Chris Tarne carried the Falcons for the first three
quarters, scoring 18 of his 19 points on eight-of-11 shooting, and then
let backcourt mate Jimmy Goffredo take over in the final eight minutes.
After struggling to a two-of-11 effort from the field in the first 24
minutes, Goffredo found his rhythm in the fourth, making four of five
shots -- including three three-pointers -- to account for 14 of CV’s 22
points en route to a game-high 23.
“I feel very fortunate to have such great guards who are experienced
in these pressure situatiuons,” Jacobsen said.
“They played with such poise, and if they weren’t making big shots,
they were making big plays.”
Muir (18-3, 3-2) -- the top-ranked team in CIF Southern Section
Division IIIA -- trimmed CV’s lead to 55-51 with 1:39 remaining, but
Brendan Couper hit an off-balanced three-pointer to beat the shot clock
on the Falcons’ next possession and, for all intents and purposes, seal
Couper, Brian Kang, Arin Moradian and Rusty Rivera led an inspired
effort in the paint, amassing 19 points and 22 rebounds against a much
taller Mustang front line.
Muir*14*7*13*22*--*56 CV -- Goffredo 23 and 4 assists, Tarne 19 and 4 assists, Couper 7 and
7 rebounds, Kang 6, Moradian 4, Rivera 2 and 8 rebounds.
* Three-pointers: Goffredo 4, Couper, Tarne.
MUIR -- Thomas 15, Davis 10 and 7 rebounds, Hall 9 and 4 steals,
Hollins 9 and 12 rebounds, Dickson 8, Duckworth 5.
* Three-pointers: Thomas 3, Dickson 2, Duckworth.