Boys’ basketball gets back on track, putting the losses to Pasadena and Muir in the rearview mirror – for now.
By Brandon HENSLEY
The league schedule of high school basketball only lasts from the beginning of January to the second week of February, so perhaps there’s not enough time to really pinpoint the dog days of the season, which can easily be done in professional leagues.
With that said, yeah, these are the dog days for the Falcons boys’ basketball team. CV players just completed playing three games in six days against seemingly mediocre teams while trying to study for finals this week.
In short, finding the energy to push through can be a challenge this time of year. Coach Shawn Zargarian isn’t even immune, as he was battling a cold this week.
Nonetheless, after two lopsided losses to Pasadena and Muir earlier this month, the Falcons shook off the rust and are now on a three-game winning streak, having defeated Burroughs Wednesday night 64-38. Last Friday they beat Arcadia at home 57-45, and won at Glendale 62-45 on Monday.
Against Arcadia and Glendale, CV struggled in the first quarter (they trailed the Apaches 13-6 after one), prompting Zargarian to shake his head afterward at his team’s inability to generate energy early on.
“I don’t have an answer coming out flat in first quarters,” he said. “We better stop doing that or it’s going to cost us a game.
“We talked about a Monday afternoon game at Glendale, you have to find a way to get up for it. The way we started, it seemed like we weren’t up for it and it was going to be dangerous but it took awhile and we woke up.”
Senior forward Christian Misi continued a string of stellar play this week. On Friday he had 18 points and 12 rebounds, and on Monday he had 16 points and 13 rebounds. Even in the losses to the Pasadena schools his play was one of the few bright spots.
“I was in kind of a slump and trying to force too many things, and these couple of weeks with losses to Pasadena and Muir,” Misi said. “’I’ve gone back to playing my game, just creating and us playing as a team and it’s helped a lot.”
Junior guard Cole Currie, a normal spark on offense, had just one point on Monday, but his backcourt teammate Dylan Kilgour stepped up, scoring 15 points, including a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter to push CV’s lead to 46-33.
Kilgour also played solid defense on Glendale guard Sevan Pogosyan, who was explosive in the first meeting, scoring 23 points. This time, Kilgour held Pogosyan to 14 points.
“I turned around to our assistant coaches at one point during the game and said I think he’s our most reliable player,” said Zargarian. “He played denial defense on [Pogosyan] — which is tough because that guy moves around – made open shots when he was open and found open guys when they were open.
“We needed [Dylan] tonight. Cole didn’t have the type of game that he usually has.”
So What Now?
CV improved this week to 18-4 and 7-2 in league. As of Wednesday the Falcons are third in the Division 1A Southern Section standings, and are third behind Muir and Pasadena in the Pacific League (Muir is the only undefeated team at 9-0).
It might be natural to look ahead to a rematch with both teams, as both schools left a bad taste in CV’s mouth last time. The Muir game will be on Feb. 3 and the Pasadena rematch will be four days later.
“We’ll remember it so we don’t go back to that point,” Misi said. “We’ve never played at that low of a level since we’ve been playing together … but it’s behind us in the past and we move on.
“Every game is must-win for us right now and we have to do our part,” he continued. “We have to come out and give 100% no matter who’s on the court, and just play our game.”
Zargarian said the team looked at film recently and realized defensive energy was lacking. He said on Monday he felt his guys had moved on from the losses. CV plays Burbank on Friday.
“[We] just have to stay engaged and focused,” Zargarian said.
Lady Falcons Take Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
The CV girls’ basketball team lost to Burroughs Wednesday 38-29. Before that they beat Arcadia 54-42 on Friday and won vs. Glendale 41-37 on Monday at CV.
Against Arcadia, sophomore guard Ella Stepanian scored 22 points, center Samira Seraji had 11 and guard Catherine Davis put in nine. That trio has been the source of most of the Falcons’ points all season.
“We played a really good game,” said Coach Jason Perez on Friday. “We did an unbelievable job of finding the open man … handling pressure,” Perez said.
CV was able to win despite Arcadia’s Melody Chang putting in 25 points (although it did take her 33 shots to get there).
On Monday, Stepanian had 11 points and six rebounds, and Seraji had 16 points four rebounds.
The Falcons (12-9 overall, 4-5 in league) were tied for third place in the Pacific League as of Wednesday afternoon with Arcadia, which had a 4-4 record. Muir is 9-0 and in first place and Burbank is second at 6-3.
The Falcons host Burbank on Friday at 5:45 p.m. Burbank won the first contest Jan. 6, 41-34.