By Brandon HENLSEY
The Falcons boys’ basketball team is, to borrow a worn-out phrase, soaring high at the moment, getting contributions from multiple players each game, and the scene was no different Wednesday night at Hoover High School.
Junior forward Christian Misi had a game-high 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and senior guard Nick Kelly poured in 14 points as the Falcons defeated the Tornadoes in another lopsided win, 75-50.
Two days after sweeping the season series from Burroughs, the Falcons (16-6, 7-1 in Pacific League) swept the season series from Hoover, relying on a solid shooting effort that seemed to have carried over from Monday’s win. CV beat Hoover earlier this month, 68-37.
The Falcons have won eight of their last nine games, including five straight victories.
Hoover dropped to 5-15 overall, and 1-8 in league. They have mirrored CV in a dubious way, having lost eight of their last nine games.
“With Hoover, you never look at their record,” said CV Coach Shawn Zargarian. “You can never look at what you did the first time because you know they’re going to come out hard.”
Indeed, it was only a 31-27 lead for the Falcons in the second quarter. Hoover abandoned their low post presence (center Arbi Abelian had eight first-quarter points) and instead attacked from the outside, or beat CV’s guard off the dribble for easy layups.
But CV guards Cole Currie and Chris Chemlekian made consecutive 3-pointers which sparked a 10-0 run to end the half.
“Hoover came out early and was shooting the ball really well which kept it really close,” said Zargarian. “It was just a matter of us stringing some stops together and getting some scores. Once we got
that double-digit lead I think we did a good job of holding on to it.”
Chemlekian made eight 3-pointers against Burroughs on Monday – he had eight points this time – and Wednesday the hot shooting continued for other players.
Kelly had 11 points in the first half, only missing once. Misi himself shot eight-for-13 overall.
“In the warm ups, I was feeling it a little,” Kelly said. “They just started dropping.
“Their defense was collapsing on our bigs and [our guys] were kicking it out to our shooters, and I was hitting them too.”
Up until Zargarian started emptying his bench late in
the fourth quarter, the
Falcons were shooting over 53% for the game. The Falcons’ biggest lead was
28 points in the fourth
CV came into the game still trailing first-place Pasadena by one game in the Pacific League (Pasadena was 8-0 in league as of Wednesday night), and Zargarian acknowledged it is tough not to look ahead in the schedule. The Falcons’ only loss in league came against the Bulldogs. The rematch is Feb. 1 at Pasadena.
“We’re trying not to look at prior games or games coming up,” Zargarian said. “We’re really focused on taking it one game at a time. I think one of the things we’ve gotten really good at is we’ve developed a little bit of toughness, a little bit of a swagger about us, and we’re playing with a lot of confidence.”
That confidence is showing in road games. The Falcons have recently beaten Muir and Arcadia on the road. Their record in away games is 5-1.
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” said Zargarian when asked about his team’s success on the road. “Our guys are doing a good job of coming into road games focused and ready to go, so hopefully we can keep it going.”
“It’s really fun [right now],” said Kelly. “We’re a close group, and we have to fight together.”
Before Pasadena, the Falcons will play at Burbank on Friday at 7 p.m. Burbank boasts a winning record, so the Falcons would be smart to keep heeding their coach’s warning of one game at a time.