LA CRESCENTA — Though Crescenta Valley High boys’ basketball Coach Shawn Zargarian would like his team to begin quarters strong, he wasn’t about to complain about how the Falcons finished them Friday night.
Fourth-seeded Crescenta Valley used two lengthy scoring runs to end the second and third quarters to pave the way for a 74-56 home win against Colton in a CIF Southern Section Division IA opening-round contest.
“We’d like to see them start off the quarters better, but both of the runs were substantial,” said Zargarian, whose team will next meet 13th-seeded Warren — a 58-51 winner against La Quinta La Quinta — in a second-round road game at 7 p.m. Tuesday. “We tried to focus defensively so that would lead to some easy baskets.
“It was a good chain reaction.”
On Friday, Crescenta Valley (24-4) saw junior guard Cole Currie enjoy a big game. He finished with a game-high 21 points, including five three-pointers, to help the Falcons improve to 9-1 in their last 10 contests.
Currie played a large role in two key stretches, which included a 16-5 run to end the first half and a 7-0 spurt to complete the third quarter.
“My teammates did a great job of finding me,” said Currie, who collected 12 second-half points. “We’ve tried to make it a point to finish halves and quarters [strong].
“We did a good job and our defensive energy picked up.”
In the second quarter, Colton (11-12) pulled to within 17-15 with 5:42 left in the second quarter. Currie then made a three-pointer to complete an 8-0 run with 4:23 remaining in the first half. Crescenta Valley held a 33-22 halftime advantage.
The Yellowjackets, who received an at-large berth out of the San Andreas League, closed to within 36-34 on a basket by Robbie Negrete with 4:54 remaining in the third quarter.
Davis Dragovich (17 points, seven rebounds and three steals) completed a three-point play to make 40-31 with 3:45 left in the third frame. A three-pointer by Currie with two seconds left in the quarter extended Crescenta Valley’s lead to 53-34 entering the fourth quarter.
Crescenta Valley, which finished second in the Pacific League behind Pasadena, got 12 points from Rudy Avila, seven from Christian Misi and a game-high four steals from Tadeh Keshishyan.
The Falcons took a 14-9 lead on a layup by Avila with 1:10 left in the first quarter. On Crescenta Valley’s next possession, Currie made a long three-pointer to extend the advantage to 17-9 with 46 seconds remaining.
Currie said the Falcons have continued to find ways to win during their hot streak.
“We were up and down during the early part of the season until midseason,” Currie said. “We feel like we are peaking at the right time.”
Colton received 13 points from Richie Ragoo and 12 from Richie Medina.