ARCADIA — Amid the deafening cheers that reverberated from one side of the Arcadia High gym to the other, Christian Misi continuously rushed the basket for a rebound or shot in the second half.
The Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball player blocked out the noise at a time when the Falcons looked to dispatch their main rival and stay in contention for the Pacific League championship. And Misi might have turned in his best effort in league to date.
Misi finished with a game-high 24 points and 16 rebounds and Cole Currie made six free throws in the final minute to give Crescenta Valley a 61-56 win against Arcadia on Friday night.
Misi, a junior center, couldn't have picked a better time to help Crescenta Valley (14-6, 6-1 in league) best Arcadia (10-9, 4-3) in the first of two meetings. The Falcons entered Friday's action one game behind Pasadena for first place in league and stayed as such thanks to their win and due to Pasadena's 54-51 win over Muir.
"I started going after rebounds [in the second half]," said Misi, who finished with 17 seconds-half points. "I stopped fading away [shooting] and went to the rim.
"I was missing some easy shots [in the first half]."
Misi made a pair of buzzer-beating shots. He beat the clock with a scoop shot just as the first half wound down to give the Falcons a 23-22 advantage. He also tipped in a shot at the end of the third quarter to make it 40-31.
After a late comeback bid by the Apaches in the fourth quarter, Currie stepped to the free-throw line and made six shots in the final 35.7 seconds.
Currie, a sophomore guard who finished with 23 points, made two free throws with 35.7 seconds left to make it 57-50. He then accomplished the same feat with 24.5 seconds remaining to extend Crescenta Valley's lead to 59-53 before closing out the contest with two more free throws with 12 seconds left.
"It's fun [to play at Arcadia]," said Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian, who received 11 points and 10 rebounds from junior forward Davis Dragovich. "As a basketball player, coach or fan, this is the environment you want to play in.
"Cole is a 90% free-throw shooter and he's the guy you want on the free-throw line. Misi did a great job around the basket."
Arcadia received 17 points from senior guard Kiran Koneru and 13 from guard C.J. Perez.
The teams will close out the regular season at Crescenta Valley on Feb. 10.
Crescenta Valley will next participate in a league home contest at 5 p.m. Monday against Burroughs.