Basketball team advances to quarterfinals with win over Edison Chargers. Now it’s Millikan on Friday.
By Brandon HENSLEY
So, this is looking a little familiar. The 2012 Falcon boys’ basketball team easily won its opening round playoff game at home and then took care of business on the road to set up a Division 1A quarterfinal game at home again.
This year’s team has done the exact same thing after beating Edison High School 63-51 in Huntington Beach on Tuesday night. CVHS (22-7) will host the Millikan Rams on Friday at 7 p.m.
Last year’s team won its quarterfinal game against El Toro to advance to the semifinals. To advance to the semis this year – where the Falcons could actually end up playing El Toro – the team will probably need to be a little more on target with its shot than it was Tuesday.
Junior guard Nick Springer blasted Paloma Valley on Friday to the tune of 32 points, a career high. Kris Jabourian added nine points and point guard Berj Krikorian slung the ball all over the place with nine assists, as CV won 80-42.
Tuesday night was a little different. CV’s outside shot wasn’t falling, so the team revved up its defensive pressure from the opening tip to control the game.
“Staying poised defensively,” Coach Shawn Zargarian said of the key to the game. “Every time we needed a timely stop I felt like our guys came up with it. We got our hands on loose balls, we rebounded the crap out of it when we had to. It was good to see.”
The Falcons forced the Chargers into 17 turnovers overall to just nine committed. Zargarian said when he and his assistant coaches watched film in preparation, they noticed the Chargers didn’t like to be pressured.
CV is not a full-court press team, but the Falcons made it hard in the half-court game for any Charger to get comfortable, including a shooter Zargarian said he tried to key in on, sophomore Brae Ivey. Ivey scored 15 points, but none in the fourth.
Springer scored less on Tuesday (14 points), but he did come up with two plays that helped seal the win.
The Falcons could never grow their lead more than 13 points after the first quarter, but never let Edison (17-12) get to fewer than five, in part thanks to Springer’s two offensive rebounds that he put back in for baskets in the fourth. He had been on the bench earlier in the quarter and was chided for his inactivity on the court.
“We told him he could impact the game by getting offense rebounds,” Zargarian said. “I felt like he was standing too much.”
“Coach is always telling me when the shot is not falling, go to the rim,” said Springer. “If that’s not working, do something different, like get defensive boards or offensive boards.”
Springer’s length and reach also made it hard for the Chargers when they had the ball.
“He’s a work in progress. He’s really taken pride in being a better defender,” said Zargarian.
Senior guard Cole Currie was back in a more familiar role Tuesday, handling the ball for large chunks of time on most possessions, something he didn’t have to do last Friday (he scored seven points and didn’t play most of the fourth quarter).
Currie scored 28 points this time, and helped keep Edison at bay in the third quarter when he made three of his six shots, five of his six free throw attempts and either scored or assisted on every point in the frame. He converted nine of 12 free throws overall.
Currie was more than willing to pass it to an open wing man, though most of those shots weren’t made (Currie finished with three assists).
Maybe they’ll fall on Friday, or maybe CV will have to rely on defense again. Either way, the team is happy with the outcomes so far.
“They’re so unselfish … they don’t worry [about scoring],” Zargarian said of his players. “They just worry about winning.”
“Getting this deep in the playoffs is really cool,” said Springer. “We’re just trying to fill the shoes from last year’s [team] and pass that. As it goes on, it gets more competitive, and we like that.”
The Millikan Rams are from Long Beach, and were third in the Moore League with an 8-4 record (13-14 overall). They defeated Gahr and San Clemente in the opening rounds to get to the quarterfinals … CV’s Pacific League foe Pasadena was eliminated from the Division 1AA bracket on Tuesday, losing to Loyola 80-56. Division 1AA also includes Warren High School, a school the Falcons beat in last year’s second round Division 1A game.