CV basketball is in the middle of hosting the Falcon Classic, a tournament they won last year.
By Brandon HENSLEY
This is going to get pretty redundant for the next few months, so it’s best to get used to it early: Cole Currie shined for the Falcons’ basketball team this week. Notice that sentence didn’t have the words “in a victory,” because how many games CV wins isn’t nearly as easy to predict this season as it has been in years’ past.
But so far, so good. The Falcons won Wednesday night 64-45 against Quartz Hill, and dominated Simi Valley on Tuesday. In that game Currie controlled almost everything, as the Falcons carved up their first post-Thanksgiving competition, 74-35. The games now count, and Simi Valley didn’t prove to be much of a litmus test for the CV in the opener of the Falcon Classic Tournament.
Currie scored 24 points, all in three quarters of play (he sat out the fourth) against the undersized Pioneers, who dropped their fifth straight game to open their season.
“I’m just going to take what the defense gives me,” said the senior Currie, who scored nine points in each of the first two quarters.
“It’s no mystery. We could play Hoover, Pasadena, everybody knows Cole’s our guy,” said head coach Shawn Zargarian.
Currie was able to find his way inside a few times, including a reverse layup after a spin, but most of his damage came from the perimeter. Those types of shots might not fall against bigger, better teams, and it’ll be up to the rest of the gang to help out.
Those key players include guards Nick Springer and Kris Jabourian, and center Eric Patten. All three had varsity experience last year, but they certainly weren’t looked upon to get the team through games against Pasadena or when the Falcons made their playoff run through CIF.
This year is going to be different, though.
“The reality is, it could be Nick, it could be Eric, it could even be Kris,” Zargarian said of who could be the best second option on offense. “Those guys are all capable of scoring in the double digits.”
On Tuesday, Patten had six points and eight rebounds, Springer scored seven points and Jabourain had 16 points, including four 3-pointers.
Simi Valley’s highest scorer was forward Kyle Hamilton with 12 points.
The game started out rough for both teams. The opening minutes provided the harsh reality – as if they needed another reminder –that the Falcons don’t have the core that won 26 games last year, save for Currie.
“I hate to say it, but it’s not surprising,” said Zargarian. “We’ve had that issue in the fall, too, where we come out … I don’t know if it’s nerves, but it takes us two or three minutes to get going. Obviously, we know against really good teams that’s going to put you in a 10, 12-point hole.
“I expect us to be sharper, but it’s one of our bad habits we need to get better at.”
Currie agreed with his coach.
“We’ve talked about it,” he said. “Even in fall league. We’ve started off slow. That might be our identity now, but we need to fix it.”
CV figured it out by the end of the first quarter. They led by 12 points, and by halftime it was 43-18. At the end of the third it was 64-29.
The Falcons’ defensive intensity was solid, as they forced numerous turnovers, and Zargarian liked that his team was able to get out and run.
“Lanes were being filled … the ball wasn’t dominated by one player. We shared it all around,” he said.
From last month’s season-opening alumni game to this week, Zargarian said the focus in practice has been on fundamentals, like setting better screens and defensive placement.
“We really focused on maintaining our conditioning,” added Currie.
The Falcon Classic is divided into two pools, A and B. Pool A consists of CV, Quartz Hill, Simi Valley and Kennedy High School. Pool B has Westlake, Hart, Flintridge Prep and Sun Valley. The winners of each pool will play for the championship on Friday. The Falcons play against Kennedy tonight at 7 p.m.
CV won the tournament last year, and Falcon forward Davis Dragovich was named tournament MVP.