BURBANK — Ah, the unpredictable joys of summer league basketball.
When Crescenta Valley High boys’ basketball Coach Shawn Zargarian and his Falcons showed up for Tuesday’s contest in the Burbank Summer League, they were expecting the La Cañada boys’ squad.
Instead, they stepped onto a gym floor with the Burbank girls’ volleyball team and the La Cañada junior varsity boys’ basketball team.
While the volleyball team quickly closed up shop, leading only to a delay to the start time, the Spartans junior varsity team was indeed what the Falcons varsity squad got.
“I had no idea,” said Zargarian of the fact that the Spartans varsity squad reportedly was playing in another tournament. “We were excited that we were gonna play La Cañada. They’re so well-coached, they have a very successful program.”
Nonetheless, the Falcons made the best of the situation, with the trio of Dede McFadden, Henry Leff and Christian Misi combining to lead Crescenta Valley in a 52-37 romp over La Cañada at Burbank High.
“It was kind of depressing,” said McFadden of the Falcons’ outlook when they realized they’d be playing a lower-level team.
Despite the competition, Crescenta Valley struggled early on, going without a field goal until the 3:31 mark of the first quarter — Burbank’s games consist of four 10-minute, running-clock quarters.
By that time, Zargarian had already sat his starters, who saw Nick Dragovich as the starting five’s only scorer, as he made good on two free throws to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead with 7:10 to go.
The coach’s choice to sit Dragovich, reigning All-Area Player of the Year Coltrane Powdrill and the rest of the starters came for a variety of reasons.
“I think we came out without any energy,” Zargarian said, “and we played a lot of games these last few days, so it was a good chance to rest them.”
And a good chance to let the reserves shine, which they did.
“The second team dominated,” said McFadden, who’s also a slotback and defensive back for the school’s football team.
McFadden had a team-best 14 points and a jaw-dropping nine steals.
He had steals that turned into breakaway layups on consecutive possessions in the second quarter as part of a 9-0 run that put the Falcons up 26-7.
“He is so darn quick,” said Zargarian of McFadden. “Being a DB in football pays off. He anticipates and once he’s in the open floor with the ball, it’s hard to catch him.”
During the nine-point run, forward Misi had the other five points, as he scored 11 in all to go with five rebounds. Leff added 10 points and 10 boards.
“They did pretty good,” said Zargarian of his players off the bench. “I liked the way they executed the offense. The big guys got the blocks, I liked the way they moved the ball around.”