ENCINO — With final examinations complete, Cole Currie found himself back on the court with the new-look Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball team on Friday afternoon.
The guard missed Crescenta Valley's first nine summer games to focus on his studies. He found himself on the floor with four new players all looking to battle for starting spots next season.
Currie looked sharp in his debut as he scored 22 points and added six assists to lift Crescenta Valley to a 76-61 win against Crespi in a Crespi Summer League contest.
Currie made himself comfortable with many of his teammates, many of whom were reserve players last season when the Falcons advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division I-A semifinals and the CIF State Division I first round behind seniors Christian Misi, Davis Dragovich, Rudy Avila and Dylan Kilgour.
"As a returner, I have to pick up the leadership role and help make the new guys even better," Currie said. "I think last year, the guys who are coming back paid attention to the seniors and that's going to help.
"The more involved you get, the more energy you will have. I'm trying to work on a lot of my game, starting with my weaknesses."
Among those who also stepped up for the Falcons were guard Nick Springer and forward Kris Jabourian. Springer had 18 points and Jabourian added 17, including 15 from three-point territory.
Jabourian will look to provide the Falcons, who finished second in the Pacific League last season, with balance on offense and rebounding.
Jabourian, who made all five three-pointers in the third quarter, took advantage thanks to some quality passes from Currie.
"Cole just found me a bunch of times and I knocked down those long shots," said Jabourian, who had seven rebounds. "I think I've been playing well in the summer and I still have things to work on.
"I learned a lot from the seniors we had last season. They were a special group and they had a lot of amazing skill."
Currie scored on the game's first two shots to give the Falcons a 4-0 lead in the first minute. He then made a three-pointer to extend the Falcons' lead to 16-8 with 3:06 left in the first quarter.
After Crescenta Valley built a 39-26 halftime lead, Jabourian began to heat up. He made three three-pointers in a row, the final one giving Crescenta Valley a 61-47 lead with 2:20 remaining in the third quarter.
Crescenta Valley led, 66-53, entering the fourth quarter.
Currie made another three-pointer with 5:31 left in the fourth quarter to give the Falcons a 71-56 lead.
"With Kris, he's a very capable shooter and he can score," said Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian, the reigning All-Area Boys' Basketball Coach of the Year. "A guy like Nick Springer can also score a lot of points.
"Right now, it's about trying to find guys who can bring it and get some production. We are trying to figure out what we have and we want to have four or five guys involved scoring."