Falcons come up big

LA CRESCENTA — In its Pacific League game Tuesday against Burbank High, Crescenta Valley served notice that it can play a solid inside game.

In the first quarter, the Falcons began the game blocking shots, grabbing rebounds and dominating play in the paint.

It was that inside game, coupled with some timely outside shooting, that allowed the Falcons to earn a crucial 60-54 league victory against the Bulldogs at home.

“We’ve known all season that we have some very good outside shooters,” Falcons Coach Shawn Zargarian said. “But the question for us in many games has been do we have the inside game to go along with that? I think tonight that we showed that we can have a strong inside game.”

The game was important in the Pacific League standings for both teams.

With the win, the Falcons (18-7, 9-4 in league) are tied with the Bulldogs (19-7, 9-4) for second place in league.

Crescenta Valley finishes up the regular season with a rivalry league game Thursday at Arcadia. Burbank ends league play Thursday with a rivalry game at Burroughs.

Bulldogs Coach Jose Hernandez said a win against the Indians is crucial.

“We need to win, and hopefully get second place for the playoffs,” said Hernandez, whose team is ranked No. 10 in CIF Southern Section Division II-A. “By getting second place you have a very good chance at getting a home game for the first round.”

Zargarian said his players will be ready for Arcadia.

“That’s a huge game for us,” he said. “That is a game we have to win.”

The Bulldogs just had no answer for Crescenta Valley’s inside presence Tuesday. Seniors Coltrane Powdrill and Nick Dragovich, along with sophomore Christian Misi, scored their share of points in the paint for the hosts.

Powdrill led all scorers with 20 — including three three-pointers — to go along with 11 rebounds and three blocks. Dragovich added 16 points and Misi had 11 points and two blocks.

“They were big, and they were able to get inside,” said Hernandez, whose team beat the Falcons, 54-52, on Jan. 20. “They also shot a lot better than the last time we played them.

“But we just weren’t able to knock down our shots and play the way we are capable of playing. We missed too many shots.”

With Crescenta Valley leading from the opening tip-off, Burbank was finally able to make a run late in the fourth quarter.

With the Falcons up by as many as 10 points midway through the fourth, Burbank cut the lead to three, 57-54, when Andy Karandganyan hit a three-pointer with 19 seconds left.

But Crescenta Valley was able to hit its free throws down the stretch to avoid the comeback attempt.

“I thought we did two things well late in that fourth quarter: We made our free throws and we were able to inbound the ball well,” Zargarian said. “Those things really helped us.”

Burbank received 17 points from senior Argin Gerigorian and 10 points each from junior Adam Colman and Karandganyan.

The Falcons began the game by taking a 14-8 lead in the first quarter. In the quarter, Crescenta Valley had four blocks and Powdrill grabbed seven rebounds.

The Falcons increased their lead to 28-19 at halftime.

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