LA CRESCENTA — The Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball team was able to beat Glendale High at its own game in both squads' Pacific League opener Tuesday night.
Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress said his team came out looking to push the ball up and down the floor to try to mitigate the clear size advantage the Falcons had. It didn't quite play out the way he hoped, as CV pulled out the 69-50 victory on its home court.
"Surprisingly, I thought we half-court defended really well and that's what we were worried about most," said Snodgress, who only has two players 6-foot-1 or taller in his starting lineup. "We felt like we could set the tempo up and down, but I thought CV won the tempo game."
Crescenta Valley, which boasts three players at 6-5 or taller in its rotation, also won the battle on the boards, out rebounding Glendale, 34-23.
"Our team is pretty special because we have big guys that can run the floor and we can play with that type of tempo, but we want to make it our style and not play too fast a pace," said Crescenta Valley's Davis Dragovich, who had a team-high 18 points in leading his team to a 12-2 mark.
All five Falcons starters were effective Tuesday, but Dragovich, Christian Misi and Cole Currie stood out. Misi had a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds and Currie scored 15 points to go along with three steals.
"We are so dangerous because all five guys can score," Misi said. "We just have so many weapons and it's hard for other teams because you can't double and we can score from anywhere. It's going to be hard to stop us."
Glendale (5-8) turned to its two stars — Sevan Pogosyan and David Yetenikyan, who was playing in his second game back after hurting his knee on Dec. 14 — for most of its offense. The pair combined for all but 12 of its team's points.
"David on one leg is better than not having him," Snodgress said. "I thought Sev played really well. I thought CV was guarding him really well and I thought Sev came to play today."
Yetenikyan scored 15 points and grabbed nine boards. Pogosyan had a game-high 23 points.
The first quarter went back and forth, but Crescenta Valley finished the first eight minutes up, 21-16, after Currie hit a fadeaway jumper with a second left in the first.
The Falcons went on a 12-2 run to start the second quarter, going up, 33-18, on a jumper from Dragovich with 4:37 left in the half. Pogosyan put an end to the run, converting an and-one play six seconds later and led the Nitros on a 12-7 run — scoring 10 of those points — to close the half down, 40-30.
"The first thing we told our guys coming out of halftime was, 'The first four minutes of this half will dictate who wins this game,'" Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian said. "That was our goal to put the game away in the first four minutes."
Crescenta Valley did just that and extended its lead to 20 points (56-36) at the end of the quarter after out rebounding Glendale, 13-4, and holding Yetenikyan and Pogosyan, along with the rest of Glendale's lineup, to just six points in the third.
The Falcons pushed the lead out to as high as 25 points (65-40) before pulling all their starters in the middle of the fourth quarter.
The Nitros will play again Friday when they travel to Arcadia to take on the Apaches. Crescenta Valley will head to Burbank on Friday to take on the Bulldogs at 7 p.m.
"It's a big win," Misi said. "We're just taking it one game at a time. You need that first one to get toward a league championship, but we're trying not to think about that right now and put all our focus on Burbank."