LA CRESCENTA — While the Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball team never allowed visiting Hoover to get close in the second half, it was in the second quarter of Monday's Pacific League game that the ever-widening gap between the Falcons and Tornadoes first opened up.
After allowing Hoover to stay within striking distance through the opening period, Crescenta Valley rode a wave of unanswered scoring to a 16-point halftime lead and would never lead by fewer over the rest of its 68-37 win.
"I think we went away from shooting a lot of perimeter shots and got some [points] in transition," Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian said. "The key was we started attacking the paint a little bit more, [attacking] the glass, and getting position around the basket and our defense was getting stops."
Even though its starters spent a good portion of the fourth quarter on the bench, Crescenta Valley still got double-digit scoring from four of its starting five, led by senior forward Davis Dragovich's game-high 18 points.
An 8-0 run to begin the second quarter saw the Falcons' three-point lead to grow into a 22-11 margin with two minutes gone by, as Christian Misi finished off the spurt with a short turnaround followed by a deep jumper for four of his 12 points.
The quarter ended with a 14-5 Falcons run, fueled by solid guard play. After nailing a wide-open three in the corner, shooting guard Dylan Kilgour (11 points) stole the ball at midcourt and took it in for a layup after a flashy behind-the-back dribble. Point guard Cole Currie, who scored 15 points in the game, then converted a three-point play before making two technical-foul free throws and Dragovich finished the half with a putback at the buzzer.
"They played well and we didn't do what we wanted to do," said Hoover Coach Jack Van Patten, whose team committed six of its 14 turnovers in the second quarter. "We didn't take care of the ball, we let them push us out, they played a good game and took us out of our game.
"Give them credit. They just played a lot harder than we did."
Things only got worse for Hoover, which was led by Aden Ziraki's 12 points, as the third quarter started with a 13-4 Crescenta Valley run.
Already down, 55-30, after three quarters, Hoover's offense bottomed out further, finishing the fourth quarter without a field goal.