LA CRESCENTA — Before the Crescenta Valley High boys’ basketball team tipped off its season Tuesday night, Christian Misi had big plans in store.
The expectations might seem a bit demanding, but the junior center would like nothing better than recording a double-double in as many games possible this season.
Misi couldn’t have asked for a better start in achieving that goal.
Misi finished with a game-high 18 points and 13 rebounds to power host Crescenta Valley to an easy 78-55 victory against South Pasadena in a pool-play contest of the Falcon Classic.
The 6-4 Misi controlled both the boards and the paint to make quick work of the Tigers (1-2).
“It’s the first game and you always want to win because you never want to start off 0-1,” said Misi, whose team will compete against Sun Valley in another pool-play game at 7 p.m. today before completing pool-play competition at 7 p.m. Thursday against Antelope Valley. “I want to get a double-double every game. If I play like I should, I can do that.”
Misi crashed the boards and gobbled up his share of rebounds. When he wasn’t doing that, Misi towered over his defenders and lifted the Falcons, who advanced to the playoffs last season, on offense. Misi finished with 11 first-half points to help the Falcons establish a 43-30 halftime advantage.
Misi had plenty of support. Three other Falcons scored 11 points or more. Crescenta Valley got 13 points from sophomore guard Cole Currie, 12 from senior guard Chris Chemlkeian and 11 from junior guard Tade Keshishyan.
While the Falcons started off the game slowly — they trailed, 6-3, at the start — they managed to click with the play of Currie. Currie finished with seven first-quarter points to help the Falcons grab a 20-8 lead that they never came close to relinquishing.
“I like the way Christian took advantage and he was tough around the basket,” Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian said. “Cole started getting aggressive on offense.
“Our goal is to get better every game and focus on the defensive end of the floor. We weren’t good at that [Tuesday] and we gave them too many open looks.
“With Christian, he’s got a size advantage. Double-doubles I expect out of him every night and he does have that capability every game.”
Misi converted on a three-point play to give the Falcons a 56-35 lead with 4:47 remaining in the third quarter. Three minutes later, Misi grabbed a rebound and went the entire length of the floor to extend the lead to 62-35.
A three-point play by Keshishyan with 4:15 remaining in the second quarter gave the Falcons a 32-19 lead.
South Pasadena received 13 points apiece from junior guard JI Shields and Eren Cameron.