Falcons keep up strong start

PASADENA — Spending five days in Maui over Christmas break didn’t do too much to mellow the Crescenta Valley High boys’ basketball team.

In fact, participation in the Maui Winter Classic, in which the Falcons advanced to the championship game on Tuesday, seemed to only intensify the brisk pace at which they have begun the season.

Led by 17 points and 13 rebounds from Coltrane Powdrill and 12 points, five rebounds and five assists from Nick Dragovich, Crescenta Valley pounced on Gabrielino early in the first quarter and kept the Eagles at bay throughout the game to claim a 61-42 win in the opening round of the 2009 La Salle/Temple City Holiday Classic at La Salle.

“We had a pretty tough game in the championship there in Maui and having a couple days off, I kind of expected them to come out a little flat,” said Falcons Coach Shawn Zargarian, whose team (7-1) will resume tournament play today at 6 p.m. at La Salle. “But I was really proud of our guys to come out with a lot of energy and pretty much pick up where we left off.”

Gabrielino (1-8) led, 3-0, inside the first minute but was buried under a 14-0 run over the next three minutes. Dragovich, who also had three steals, nabbed the ball from the Eagles and found Adam Dassad for a three-pointer and a 10-3 lead at the 4:40 mark before Powdrill finished a break with a layup off his own steal to put the Falcons up, 14-3, at the 3:30 mark.

Powdrill had six points in the second quarter, including a finish in transition off a steal and pass from Cole Currie for a 25-10 lead and a layup on a feed from Dassad to put the Falcons up, 33-14 with 2:28 left in the half.

“After they scored their first points, we knew we just had to run and get into it and play our game,” said Powdrill, who finished with four blocks.

Dragovich sank a three-pointer with 1:19 left in the third to put the Falcons comfortably ahead, 51-24.

“Everybody knows Coltrane and Nick are our guys,” Zargarian said. “And, it’s more than just scoring. It’s being active on the glass and defending. We kind of feed off of that, so when those two guys are going I think the rest of the guys fall in behind them and we end up having a good night.”

The Falcons went on an 8-2 run over the first 2:30 of the fourth quarter to help survive an ensuing scoring drought that lasted the next 4:40.

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