Falcons win their 20th game with dominating defense and efficient offense, setting up a week of key rematches with the Pasadena schools.
By Brandon HENSLEY
With every shot put up by a Hoover player Tuesday night in the first quarter came groans from some of the students in the stands. And with every miss those groans turned into cheers. On this night, it wasn’t just about fans wanting to see their CV boys’ basketball team beat the Tornadoes, but rather enjoy a dubious scene unravel before them from the team in purple and black.
And what a scene it was. Hoover did not score a single point in the first quarter, and not until the 5:54 mark of the second when Ando Adjemian’s 3-pointer went in did the number change on the scoreboard under the word Visitor.
The Falcons dominated early and often, building a 15-0 lead after one quarter and won 78-31, clinching the team’s third straight 20-win season, putting them currently at 20-4 (8-2 in the Pacific League).
Once the ball passed half court, CV pressured fast and furious, forcing numerous turnovers. Maybe it was all in preparation for Friday’s big game against Pasadena, but whatever the case, the defensive mindset was impressive.
“Our goal is to ball pressure as much as we can and limit good looks and I think we did that,” said CV Coach Shawn Zargarian.
“We came out with focus. We were all just playing really well, so it was nice,” said senior guard Dylan Kilgour. CV has won four games in a row, having beaten Burbank last Friday 62-55.
Kilgour’s offense was also a spark. He scored 15 points, including four 3-pointers. In all, the Falcons were on top of their game from beyond the arch, shooting an eye-popping 9-of-17 from that distance.
Zargarian almost didn’t have words for how well Kilgour shoots the ball.
“We don’t keep a record book of percentage, but last year he was in the 40s from the 3-point line. It’s just unheard of,” Zargarian said. “When he’s open, I’m shocked when he misses … even when he misses it looks good.”
Hoover played CV almost evenly in the second quarter, but the floodgates opened in the third. Cole Currie drained a 3-pointer at 5:39 of the quarter to make the lead 47-18. By the end of the quarter, it was 68-25.
The Falcons like to push the tempo on offense, and were extra aggressive Tuesday. Forward Christian Misi didn’t score many – just three points, all on free throws – but he grabbed 10 rebounds, leading to numerous fast breaks, and Kilgour and Currie took care of the rest (Currie had 14 points).
Against a smaller team like Hoover, Zargarian said he likes his team to go inside first and that will open up shots from the outside.
“I thought our guards took good shots, good open shots, and made them,” Zargarian said.
CV’s reserves came in and played well, with guard Razmik Hacobyan scoring nine points in the second half.
A noticeable change as the season goes on is who Zargarian puts on the court to start the game. Rudy Avila came into the year entrenched as the starting center, but has since been replaced several times by guard Tade Keshishyan or forward Elliot Wilson. Wilson started Tuesday and played “great,” according to Zargarian.
“It’s dependent on matchups and it’s dependent on guys coming in and working hard,” Zargarian said. “I think Elliot’s been working his butt off and getting better. The last four games he’s started for us we’ve had wins.”
The Tough Week Ahead
The Falcons will have to work that much harder Friday at CV, when they will try and even the score against Pasadena. Friday is also Senior Night for CV.
“We have a sour taste in our mouth after last time, and this comes down to pride,” Zargarian said.
But it won’t get any easier on Tuesday when CV travels to Muir. Both teams beat CV in January by over 20 points.
Those schools are the measuring sticks in the Pacific League. CV is still in third place behind Pasadena (9-1) and Muir (10-1). Muir features long and athletic players, and Pasadena features physical players, like Brandon Jolley, that gave CV a hard time previously.
Kilgour was asked specifically what needs to be done against the Bulldogs in the rematch. He said he didn’t really remember their Jan. 13 affair. Maybe that’s a good thing.
“We’re watching film tomorrow, I’m sure Coach Z has stuff in mind,” he said. “We have to play CV basketball and we’ll be fine.
“I think we’re in a better place now. We’re clicking right now and so it’s going to be fun to come out and play Pasadena.”
Zargarian said he wants to see his team come out energized and compete better than they did before. A loss wouldn’t wreck the season, he said, and a league title isn’t what he’s concentrating on at the moment.
“Not that it’s out of reach but it’s kind of somewhere where it’s not in our hands,” he said. “We just have to take care of our business. It’s a pride game Friday night. We’re going to come out and fight. All we can do is play as hard as we can.”