In making its strongest run at the Pacific League title in years, highlighted by a signature win over eventual champion Pasadena High, the Crescenta Valley boys’ basketball team didn’t so much rely on one player to get it done as on a balanced cast of versatile contributors.
The second-place Falcons’ all-league selections, as voted on by the league’s eight coaches, reflect that, as four of CV’s starting five are represented on the first and second team, with a key reserve getting an honorable mention.
Glendale also had the top three players most influential on its third-place finish rewarded along with nabbing the league’s top coaching honor.
Senior center Christian Misi and senior forward Davis Dragovich both made the first team for Crescenta Valley, which carried a bid for a three-way co-title with Pasadena and Muir into its final meeting with the first-place Mustangs on Feb. 7. The Falcons lost that game, which clinched the title for Muir, and appeared to fall to third, but ended up vaulting back into second when Muir had the majority of its league wins vacated because of an ineligible player.
Misi, the league’s returning player of the year, led the Falcons (26-6, 12-2 in league) in scoring with 14.8 points per game and in rebounds with 10.5. A 38% shooter form beyond the arc, he also sank the game-winning three-pointer to down Pasadena, 61-60, on Feb. 3 and get the Falcons back into the league-title race.
“Christian just kept getting it done for us all year,” Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian said. “It was a little tougher for him to get his numbers to where they were last year and I think that had to do with how much attention he drew from last year. Coming back as a league MVP and being first-team All-CIF, I think he drew a lot more double teams and a lot more attention, but he did a good job of making baskets when they mattered.”
Dragovich was the Falcons’ most versatile weapon at both ends. He averaged 12 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and shot a sturdy 48% from the field.
“I really thought that the key to this team would be Davis,” Zargarian said. “Davis was that intangible piece and the reason why we got as far as we did was because Davis really focused in and started playing really well for us.
“You talk about a guy who can score from inside and outside, a guy who can handle the ball, a guy who can defend all five positions, play all five positions and he was our vocal leader.”
Glendale (14-14, 8-6), which saw Coach Steve Snodgress voted coach of the year, had one first-team selection in senior forward Sevan Pogosyan, who averaged 18.3 points per game with totals of 48 assists, 19 blocks and 35 steals.
He averaged 17.7 points in league, with a season-high 34 scored against Burroughs on Jan. 17. Leading up to that game, Pogosyan’s first five league games saw him score 23, 22, 25, 20 and 19 points.
“Sevan did just about everything for us this year,” Snodgress said. “I think he had at least one big game against every team in the league and probably improved more than any player I’ve ever had.”
Junior Cole Currie and senior Dylan Kilgour were the Falcons’ starting guards and each garnered a second-team selection for their efforts.
Currie averaged 11.3 points and three rebounds per game and led the team with 109 assists on the season.
“Cole in league struggled at the start a little bit, his numbers weren’t where they could have been,” Zargarian said. “Once he got healthy toward the end of league, and in the playoffs, he started rolling. He could shoot from 22 to 23 feet and he handled the ball the entire game with guys pressuring him. He did an amazing job.”
Likely the best pure shooter on the team, Kilgour shot 38% from three-point land and a team-best 86% from the free-throw line while averaging 8.4 points per game.
“Both those guys, you could count on them to hit shots pretty much any time during a game,” Zargarian said of his backcourt. “If there was ever a game where Dylan didn’t make a three, we were almost excited because we knew the next game he was going to knock down three or four.”
Glendale senior center David Yetenikyan also made the second team after putting up 11 points per game on the season and 11.4 in league. The four-year starter’s 25 rebounds on Jan. 11 against Burbank and 318 boards on the season both set school records.
“It was good to see him finish [his career] strong and I was happy to see him make the all-league second team,” Snodgress said.
Honorable mentions went to Crescenta Valley senior guard Tadeh Keshishyan, Glendale senior guard Edmond Tahmazyan and senior guard Kyle Bernardo of seventh-place Hoover (10-17, 4-10).
Keshishyan averaged five points per game, but was a dependable shooter who converted at a 43% rate from beyond the arc and at an 85% rate from the free-throw line.
“He had so many games where he made multiple three-pointers or he defended the best guy on the other team,” Zargarian said. “He’s a fearless competitor who is always up for the challenge and always ready to play no matter who it is or what they have in front of him.”
Tahmazyan excelled as a defensive specialist, while totaling 57 assists, 29 steals and 101 rebounds.
“Ed was just a very, very tough defensive player and he was a guy who was willing to do all the little things for us,” Snodgress said. “No one outworked him, certainly, on the court this year.”
Bernardo averaged 12.7 points per game on the season, while putting up 9.7 a night in league.
“He was our best player, as he went, we went,” Hoover Coach Jack Van Patten said. “He was a good leader for us.”