SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — While the score was close at times during Tuesday's Pacific League game between Crescenta Valley High and Glendale, it was only the former squad which had control of the game throughout.
Behind successful execution of an offensive game plan to take advantage of their size, the Falcons continued a solid start to the league season by beating the host Nitros, 58-45.
"We talked about our size advantage, and knew that Glendale doesn't have much size," Falcons Coach Shawn Zargarian said. "There was a stretch where we took too many jump shots and let them back in it, but then we went back inside."
Christian Misi anchored the exploitation of the mismatch in size, and did it on both ends in the form of 18 points and 11 rebounds.
His 10 points in the first half led the way for the Falcons (13-6, 5-1) going into the break with a 30-22 advantage.
"We wanted to keep pounding it inside and get fouls," Misi said. "When it wasn't there, we kicked it out for good looks."
Misi, along with fellow big men Davis Dragovich and Rudy Avila, forced Glendale into staying out of the paint on offense, and instead settling for outside shots.
The defense forced the Nitros (7-11, 2-4) to shoot just two of 12 in the second quarter when the Falcons heated up and shot seven of 15 and outscored Glendale, 16-8, following a tie ballgame after the first quarter.
Glendale's struggles from the field continued after halftime, as they made just four of 16 field goals. The lone bright spot for Glendale was that the Falcons weren't much better in shooting four of 11 along with missing five free throws.
"We had to score enough points to mitigate their baskets down low," Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress said. "They do a good job of getting the ball to their guys down low."
The Falcons attacked the rim again in the fourth quarter, were sent to the foul line almost every time and capitalized, as they made 12 of 15 foul shots.
Glendale cut the deficit down to five on an Arada Zakarian layup early in the quarter, thus making the trips to the charity stripe all the more important.
It was an-all around effort for the Falcons, with the guards getting involved also. Cole Currie scored 12, including six of the team's 10 third-quarter points. Nick Kelly added eight, including two consecutive three-pointers in the second quarter that took a one-point lead up to seven.
The Nitros would get no closer than five points in the fourth.
"They handled their business," said Zargarian, whose team next faces Arcadia. "I like how we didn't get rattled when they got close."
Glendale's Anthony Tahmazian put in a team-high 11 points. Steven Gasparian followed up with 10 for a Nitros squad that faces archrival Hoover on Friday.