GRANADA HILLS — Eight games into his varsity career, Tade Keshishyan had no starting appearances.
On Wednesday, that changed for the Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball player. Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian benched starting guard Cole Currie for the first quarter of Wednesday's 11th-place game of the San Fernando Valley Invitational for a disciplinary reason and tabbed Keshishyan to temporarily fill Currie's role.
Keshishyan responded with a steady performance.
Keshishyan finished with 10 points and three steals to help lift Crescenta Valley to a 59-38 victory against Granada Hills Kennedy at Granada Hills High.
"I was a little nervous because it's my first start," said Keshishyan, a junior guard who helped the Falcons improve to 6-3. "I knew that I would have the opportunity to step up and play defense and be a threat.
"I made a couple of shots and that helped get me going."
Zargarian, who declined to reveal the reason behind Currie's benching, said he had confidence Keshishyan could fill in and provide some steady play for the Falcons, who regrouped from a 73-55 tournament loss to West Ranch on Tuesday.
"Tade has got a chip on his shoulder and plays hard all of the time," said Zargarian, who got 10 points and 10 rebounds from junior center Christian Misi and 15 points and three steals from Currie. "He brings a lot of energy.
"We were really disappointed with our energy [from Tuesday's game]. We wanted to focus [Wednesday] on coming out with energy and pushing the tempo. We did a good job of keeping guys in front of us and we contested shots and rebounds."
Kesishyan recorded a steal and a layup to give the Falcons a 10-6 lead with 3:48 left in the first quarter. He then made a three-pointer to extend Crescenta Valley's lead to 23-14 with 5:10 remaining in the second quarter.
Misi made an off-balance shot as time expired in the first half to give the Falcons a 41-20 advantage. Currie had 10 second-quarter points.
"It could have been easy for [Currie] to come out and pout," said Zargarian, who got eight points from junior guard Dylan Kilgour. "He came out with some energy and did some good things."
Kennedy (4-7) got a team-best 10 points from sophomore guard Dominique Vargas.
Crescenta Valley, which finished runner up in its own tournament Dec. 10, will next participate in an opening-round game of the La Salle/Temple City Tournament at 6 p.m. Monday against Gabrielino at Temple City High.