LA CRESCENTA — Having become accustomed to practicing against each other for the past several weeks, the members of the Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball team were ready for something different and it came with them meeting South Pasadena in their season-opening game.
On Tuesday night, Crescenta Valley stymied South Pasadena by making its share of three-pointers, rebounding aggressively and playing air-tight defense.
The defensive effort turned in by the Falcons in the first quarter was what stood out the most in Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian's mind after holding the Tigers without a field goal.
"High energy equals good basketball," Zargarian said after Crescenta Valley posted a 79-34 home victory against South Pasadena in a pool-play game of the Falcon Classic. "We played good defense and we pushed the tempo."
The Tigers missed all 10 of their shots from the floor in the opening quarter. The Tigers' four first-quarter points came via free throws from senior guard Jevon Shields. By comparison, Crescenta Valley senior forward Davis Dragovich had eight first-quarter points to help the Falcons build a 23-4 advantage.
Crescenta Valley received a team-high 14 points and seven rebounds from senior forward Rudy Avila and 12 points and seven assists from junior guard Cole Currie to turn back South Pasadena (1-2).
South Pasadena, which had one second-chance scoring opportunity in the first quarter, didn't make a shot from the floor until senior forward Zachary Lindecamp made a short jump shot to bring the Tigers to within 23-7 with 7:30 left in the second quarter.
"It's really exciting to finally be able to play a game that counts," Avila said. "We want this to be the start of something great."
Crescenta Valley led the entire contest and held a 46-15 halftime lead.
"We've been working on different things since the fall," said Zargarian, whose team registered 38 rebounds. "We had a strong transition game and that leads to easy points and fun basketball."
Dragovich finished with 12 points and senior center Christian Misi, a reigning All-Area pick, contributed six points, 12 rebounds and four assists for the Falcons.
South Pasadena got a team-high 12 points from Shields and 10 from Lindecamp. Lindecamp had two three-pointers on consecutive possessions in the second quarter.
Currie made a team-best three three-pointers for the Falcons, who finished with eight overall.
Both teams will take part in pool-play games today. South Pasadena will meet Antelope Valley at 4 p.m. and Crescenta Valley will take on Simi Valley at 7.