LA CRESCENTA — Shortly before the season began, each player on the Crescenta Valley High boys’ basketball team met individually with the coaching staff.
When it came time for Nick Springer to congregate with the coaches, Springer was assigned multiple roles as one of the returning players from last season’s team that reached the CIF Southern Section Division I-A semifinals and advanced to the state tournament.
So far, the junior guard has proven to be up to meeting expectations.
Springer finished with a game-high 16 points and seven rebounds Wednesday to propel host Crescenta Valley to a 64-45 pool-play victory against Quartz Hill in a pool-play contest of the Falcon Classic.
“I’m adjusting to my roles,” said Springer, who finished with 11 first-half points to help Crescenta Valley grab a 32-16 halftime lead. “In the meeting, they told me to be able to rebound and step up and score.
“Tonight, the ball just seemed to be there for me.”
Crescenta Valley (2-0) also got 11 points from senior forward Elliot Wilson and 10 from senior guard Cole Currie, the lone returning starter from last season.
Crescenta Valley will meet Granada Hills Kennedy in its final pool-play game at 7 p.m. today. The Falcons won the tournament last season.
Springer had three first-quarter rebounds to help jump start the Falcons, who opened the tournament Tuesday with a pool-play victory against Simi Valley.
“His rebounding was what I liked best,” said Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian, the reigning All-Area Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year. “Nick can go out there and do a lot of things from scoring to playing strong defense and rebounding.
“We had to go out there and be disciplined. That was the key for us. We had to stay in it by playing our style. We were able to get after it in the first quarter to get that 16-4 lead. We had some letdowns after that, but we were able to get back at it.”
Springer made a pair of three-pointers, his first coming with 1:30 left in the first half to give the Falcons a 27-16 advantage.
Wilson paced the Falcons with seven third-quarter points to give Crescenta Valley a comfortable 48-28 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Junior guard Eric Bae recorded a steal and scored on a layup to give Crescenta Valley a 53-33 lead with 6:15 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Crescenta Valley, which finished with nine steals, got six points each from sophomore guard Berj Krikorian and junior forward Eric Patten.
Quartz Hill (4-2) got 15 points and eight rebounds from senior guard Ante Joyner and 15 points from junior guard Andrew Soto. Joyner had 11 points in the second half and Soto had 10.