By Brandon HENSLEY
By now, it might be possible to think that if Coltrane Powdrill and Nick Dragovich were being attacked from all sides in an alley, ala a cheesy crime-fighting TV show, the two of them wouldn’t have much of a problem disposing of their enemies, taking on all attackers with their backs to each other.
All they need now is a catchphrase.
The two senior stars for the Crescenta Valley boys basketball team led the way once again as the Falcons defeated the Burbank Bulldogs 60-54 Tuesday night at CV in the team’s regular season home finale, providing fans a brief respite from the most recent storm to hit the foothills.
Powdrill had a game-high 20 points, on an efficient seven-for-12 shooting, along with 11 rebounds and three blocks. Dragovich finished with 16 points (four-for-eight shooting) and four rebounds.
The two players’ shooting performance was a small example of the overall efficiency for the Falcons’ offense. CV hit 50% of its shots and was able to close out the game with clutch free-throw shooting (15 of 23 overall), something that had been a bugaboo for the team earlier in the season.
The win over Burbank (19-7, 9-4 in Pacific League) exacted a bit of revenge for the Falcons (18-7, 9-4), who lost the previous matchup 54-52, and puts them in a position to clinch second place in the Pacific League if they can get by Arcadia today on the road. The Falcons are currently ranked 14th in Division 1A, and won’t know who or where they’ll play until it is announced this weekend. Their playoff game will be played on Wednesday.
Just don’t ask CV Coach Shawn Zargarian about that.
“We’re not worried about the playoffs, we’re worried about [Arcadia],” he said.
Fair enough, but Dragovich said it’s hard not looking toward next week. “It definitely is, because the playoffs are what you play for the whole year,” he said. “It’s a fun time, and we’re hoping to get a good draw. That’s why we have to win out.”
Zargarian seems to be doing well in getting his team to focus on the present, though. The Falcons have won five of their last seven games.
Zargarian said the Bulldog’s zone defense was an obstacle for his team the last time, but, “I think we did a better job of executing against their zone today, and down the stretch we were able to get the ball inbounds and make free throws.”
Christian Misi’s seven points in the first quarter sparked CV to an early lead, and in the second Powdrill dominated, scoring seven points of his own including a couple of highlight-worthy blocks.
The Falcons led at halftime 28-19 and in the third quarter, it was the Dragovich show. He scored nine of the team’s 11 points in the quarter, beating the Bulldogs down low with an assortment of low-post moves and bullying his way to the free-throw line.
“We pick each other up, I think, definitely,” said Powdrill.
“That’s the luxury of having two really good players,” Zargarian said of his stars. “One gets going, and the other team tries to stop him, and the other guy can [step up], so they do a really good job when they feed off each other and share the basketball.”
Powdrill came out in the fourth and quickly hit two 3-pointers to extend the lead to 48-38. Burbank’s Argin Gergorian (17 points) scored nine in the quarter and Eric Puchapour’s 3-pointer closed the lead to 51-47, the closest Burbank had been since the opening minutes of the game.
But Dragovich’s free throws (he was 8 for 11 overall) as well as point guard Adam Dassad’s foul shooting (he made all four of his attempts in the fourth) helped the Falcons pull away in the final minute.
Back to the two leads. “We’re OK with either one of us taking over at any time in the game depending on what the defense will give us,” said Dragovich.
Powdrill credited the Falcons’ success down the stretch to the good vibrations in the locker room. “We’re all friends,” he said.
“There’s not one of us that doesn’t like each other.”
Dragovich was more concrete in his reasoning: “I think in certain games being composed, and being able to handle the pressure that the other team gives us.”
Now if only they had a catchphrase.
But perhaps that can wait.
The playoffs are calling.