LA CRESCENTA — Every time the Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball team was on the verge of squandering a big lead, they had an answer inside and outside.
Inside the paint and within feet of the basket stood Crescenta Valley 6-4 center Christian Misi, while outside proved to be a haven for guard Cole Currie. The duo proved to be more than reliable for the Falcons when needed most.
Misi registered 28 points and 18 rebounds and Currie added 23 points Thursday night to propel Crescenta Valley to a 77-64 victory against visiting Antelope Valley in a pool-play contest of the Falcon Classic.
Crescenta Valley (3-0) will meet Chatsworth in the tournament's championship game at 7:45 p.m. today. The Falcons received their first big test in the tournament after opening with lopsided victories against South Pasadena and Sun Valley.
Misi and Currie, who was briefly hampered by foul trouble, rose to the occasion to extinguish the Antelopes (2-1).
"Our bench did a great job picking up Cole after he picked up his third foul [with 5:45 remaining in the second quarter] and then Cole came out in the second half and made some big shots," Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian said. "Christian was a monster with 11 offensive rebounds and him making some shots from outside.
"Our guys did a real good job of keeping their poise out there. We'd be up by 10 and then it's down to one or some type of single-possession situation. We had some defensive stops that got us into our transition."
Antelope Valley closed to within 61-59 with 4:54 remaining in the fourth quarter on a pair of free throws by Lorenzo Goines, who notched a game-high 30 points. However, Misi then grabbed an offensive rebound and scored a basket to give the Falcons a 63-59 lead with 4:10 left.
A three-pointer by Currie extended the Falcons' lead to 67-61 with 3:08 left. Currie finished with five three-pointers, including three in the second half.
Misi, who posted his second double-double in the tournament, said the Falcons were able to regroup twice after the Antelopes turned a large deficit into a small one.
"We gave us some large runs because we had some mental lapses," said Misi, whose team held a 35-33 halftime lead. "We were able to get back into it by having good ball movement and attacking the boards and rim.
"We've got to learn from this against Chatsworth. Our defensive effort will need to be good, but we need to clean up some things and be able to close it out."
Currie made a pair of three-pointers near the midway mark of the first quarter to give Crescenta Valley a 10-3 advantage.
Zargarian said Chatsworth will provide speed in the championship game.
"We have to handle their pressure and limit our turnovers," said Zargarian, who got 10 points from Chris Chemlkeian. "It will be relentless pressure for 32 minutes."
Antelope Valley, which got 16 points and three blocks from Travion Tucker, will meet Flintridge Prep in the tournament's third-place game at 6:15.
The remaining tournament games will feature Simi Valley against Sun Valley in the seventh-place game at 3:15, followed by St. Francis and South Pasadena in the fifth-place contest at 4:45.