Crescenta Valley boys' basketball heads to playoffs with momentum

LA CRESCENTA — What was a confidence builder, the Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball team hopes will become a springboard.

The Falcons got back on track in Thursday evening’s season finale with a 78-47 hammering of visiting rival Arcadia.

With the victory, the CIF Southern Section Division I-A sixth-ranked Falcons (20-7 overall, 11-3 in league) will enter the postseason as the Pacific League’s No. 2 seed.

Perhaps, they’ll also head in with momentum.

“It was good to see our guys really get out there tonight and battle. It was good to see our seniors out there making an impact,” Falcons Coach Shawn Zargarian said. “We kept telling our guys at halftime that we still have the playoffs, we still have to play and get better. We’ll take a day off tomorrow and rest up and then get going again.”

Even though it could be argued the Falcons had the game put away against the Apaches (7-20, 2-12) by halftime as they led, 41-23, the contest was effectively iced in the third.

That’s when Crescenta Valley won the quarter, 21-4, and held Arcadia to only one field goal, a jumper from junior Ben Bowen (team-high 12 points) midway through the quarter.

The Apaches’ only other two points of the period came via two free throws from senior Stephen Smith.

On the flip side, Falcons senior guard Cole Currie scored seven of his game-high 19 points in the quarter and was one of six Falcons to chip in at least one point.

“We’re excited, we like our chances. I think we’re starting to peak at the right time,” Currie said. “We’ve got five games to get it done after this one, but I like our chances.”

Crescenta Valley took a 62-27 advantage after three quarters, which earned Currie and the starters extended rest after Currie drained a three-pointer to open the fourth and was subsequently pulled.

“It’s fun to come out, especially in this situation,” Currie said. “It’s fun when you’re coming out up 20 to 30 points, but not so much fun the other way.”

Currie was one of three Falcons who scored in double figures, including Nick Springer (16 points) and Eric Patten (11 points).

“We came flat against Pasadena [in a 75-68 loss on Tuesday] and to get pumped up again feels good,” Springer said. “This is a rivalry game, so it’s also good.”

The Falcons led, 18-13, after one quarter with the highlight coming in the opening minute when senior forward Kevin Yoo (nine points) hit a three-pointer to kick-start the game.

“It was great to get everyone in. It’s really rewarding. Kevin Yoo, who’s been with us for four years, didn’t know he was going to start until right before the game,” Zargarian said. “We ran a special for him to start and he hit the three and got us going.”

Crescenta Valley started to pull away by winning the second quarter, 23-10, in going up by 18 at halftime.

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