After working hard for the first 13 games of the Pacific League boys’ basketball schedule, Crescenta Valley High had a chance to cash in during the regular-season finale against Arcadia on Thursday.
A win for the host Falcons would give them a share of their first league championship since 2014.
Against the Apaches, the Falcons sealed the deal, dominating the visitors from start to finish for an 88-54 win and a share of the league title.
“Throughout the whole season, we faced a lot of adversity,” Falcons senior Tyler Carlson said. “It just feels really good with all our hard work paying off.”
Crescenta Valley (25-3, 13-1 in league) never trailed against Arcadia (11-15, 3-11) and won its 11th straight game. The Falcons also have won 13 consecutive league contests after dropping their league opener to Pasadena.
The Bulldogs secured a share of the Pacific League title, their 16th straight, Thursday night with a 67-51 victory versus Muir.
“It’s my second [league title] in 15 years,” Crescenta Valley coach Shawn Zargarian said. “This group showed so much resilience. We had so much adversity from the start to finish of the season and our guys found a way to pull it off. I’m so proud of them. I love them so much.”
Carlson was red-hot for the Falcons, pouring in 31 points, 29 coming in the first three quarters before giving way to the reserves.
Carlson had 17 points by halftime, including 11 of his team’s 19 points in the first quarter, after which the hosts led, 19-13. The senior scored six more in the second quarter, which saw Crescenta Valley pull away for a 40-24 advantage at the break.
“We just came out fired up,” Carlson said. “I was worried the distractions would get to us, but we just stayed the course throughout the whole game.”
Carlson started the second half by draining one of his six makes from three-point range. At one point in the third, Carlson scored 12 straight points for the Falcons.
Every Crescenta Valley player made it into the game, as the second half turned into a rout. In total, 13 Falcons scored at least one point.
“Our goal was to get our managers and subs in the game, so everyone could play. We knew we had to come out on fire, beat [Arcadia], then get them in the game,” Carlson said.
Joining Carlson in double figures was fellow senior Chuck Meyer, who had 10 points working the inside. Armen Avaness, another senior, had nine points. Sophomore center Evan Manjikian tallied seven points, including a three-pointer. Danny Khani and Sean Kosco scored six points each.
“We’ve been working our butts off all season, since August, just grinding,” Khani, a senior, said. “All the adversity we’ve gone through, it is just amazing to see it all come together.”
Senior Alec Voskanian had four points, all coming in the fourth quarter. Ryan Raad and Sarkis Galadjian scored three apiece. Hovig Arissian, Daniel Georgiev, Gavin Shaghoian and Keegan Schmitt all scored two points. Senior Nate Nutall rounded out the scoring with one point, which was the final one of the third quarter.
Arcadia was paced by Zane Hoegel, who had 25 points, most coming on shots with a high degree of difficulty versus a stingy Crescenta Valley defense. No other Apache reached double figures.
Meyer recorded the first points of the game with a put-back. Apache Aaron Echols Jr. followed that with a bucket to tie the score at 2. Carlson followed that with his first points of the night on a three-pointer from the top of the key.
The Falcons led the rest of the way.
The second quarter saw the Falcons pull away, winning the stanza by 10. The first double-digit advantage of the evening came around the middle of the quarter, when Carlson hit a three off an assist by Khani to make it 31-20.
The Falcons’ lead ballooned over 20 following a make by Khani 1:30 into the third. The third-quarter lead peaked at 30, when Schmitt hit a jump shot. Crescenta Valley led, 65-40, heading into the final quarter.
In the fourth, the Crescenta Valley bench took over and stoked the advantage until the end. With 4:17 left, Zargarian reinserted his seniors, but only so each, one at a time, could be substituted, giving them a curtain call.
“You’ve got to give [those seniors] a curtain call,” Zargarian said. “You’ve got to respect them and you’ve got to love them for what they do for the program.”