Falcons Keep Cool by Staying Hot

The week that was saw CV improve its league record to 4-0 with a win at Hoover, 55-33. Now, a showdown with Pasadena.

Photo by Leonard COUTIN Rudy Avila was called for offensive goaltending on this play, but that didn’t stop him and his teammates from winning.
Photo by Leonard COUTIN
Rudy Avila was called for offensive goaltending on this play, but that didn’t stop him and his teammates from winning.

By Brandon HENSLEY

Perhaps the hardest part of the schedule is still ahead for the CV boys’ basketball team, but that hasn’t kept the Falcons from taking care of the business at hand. The Falcons got balanced scoring and overcame a stagnant first quarter at Hoover Wednesday night to beat the Tornadoes 55-33.

Senior forward Davis Dragovich had a game-high 15 points to go along with five rebounds. Teammate Christian Misi had 10 points and 12 rebounds, and center Rudy Avila had eight points and six rebounds. It was all part of an effort to take advantage of the Falcons’ size over the smaller Tornadoes. Not one player on Hoover is listed over 6 feet.

“Usually offensively, we’re able to utilize our size,” said Coach Shawn Zargarian. “I don’t know if we did that tonight. We tried so hard to get it inside and turned it over quite a few times.”

After an opening few minutes that saw more of a defensive battle from both teams, CV (15-2, 4-0 in league) broke out in a big way. A Dylan Kilgor 3-pointer made it 16-4, and CV pushed the score to 26-4 into the second quarter.

Much like the game at Burbank last Friday, Hoover (7-10, 0-4) got physical with the Falcons all night. At one point, guard Kyle Bernardo was trapped along the sideline at midcourt by two Falcons, including Kilgour. Bernardo threw his elbow into Kilgour’s chest, and Kilgour doubled over in pain and was taken to the bench. No foul was called.

“It’s not that we like the chippy style, but I think it used to bother us quite a bit,” Zargarian said. “We used to back down from it. The thing I like is we don’t back down from it anymore.”

“It’s something we’ve kind of struggled with in the past, but I think this group of guys are mentally tough enough,” said Dragovich.

In the end, Hoover had no plan to get the ball inside and Zargarian said he was happy with CV’s ability to make them force up contested 3-pointers. Because of the defensive theme of the game, the Falcons failed to score over 60 points for just the third time all season.

Now it’s on to Pasadena where the reigning league champions will host the Falcons. The Bulldogs have a lesser overall record than CV (10-5 as of Wednesday night), but the atmosphere should be electric.

“Pasadena’s a very good team,” said Zargarian. “Everybody is talking about Pasadena being down and not having guys; they’re good. Until somebody beats them, they’re still the team to beat.

“I don’t remember the last time we played Pasadena on a Friday night. Playing there on a week night is intense … but to play there Friday night … it’s going to be an exciting atmosphere.”

Before the season, Falcons players said toppling Pasadena was the main goal. The Bulldogs swept CV last year.

“It’s a big game for us. They’re one of the toughest teams in league and we feel like we should compete with them this year,” Dragovich said.

Jan. 6, @Burbank
CV 67, Bulldogs 55
Things got physical in the Falcons’ league-opening road game last week at Burbank. The first half featured several lead changes and another assertive effort from CV guard Cole Currie, who had 15 points in the previous game against Glendale.

This time, Currie scored 25 points to lead the team, including an 11-point first quarter. Forward Christian Misi contributed 11 points and 14 rebounds. For Burbank, guard Andre Spight led the way with 15 points. The Falcons had trouble all night containing his athleticism.

Although undersized, Burbank did not lack for physicality. The third quarter was chippy, as referees had to curtail several heated moments after pushing and shoving. Burbank’s Thomas Khodjassarian was given a technical foul in the quarter.

In the end, it was the outside shooting of CV that downed the Bulldogs. Kilgour hit four 3-pointers in the second half, one of those giving the Falcons a 59-46 lead in the fourth that all but put it away.

Jan. 9, vs. Burroughs
CV 77, Indians 40
The Falcons returned home from a tough game against Burbank and got just what the doctor ordered: rest and relaxation. CV cruised to an easy 77-40 win over Burroughs, and Coach Shawn Zargarian was able to rest his starters for the entire fourth quarter.

Christian Misi dominated early and often, piling up 22 points and six rebounds.  In a running theme this season – so far – CV took advantage of its size. When it wasn’t Misi doing damage, it was center Rudy Avila (10 points). The Falcons pounded it down low in the second quarter, outscoring the Indians 26-8 to build a 30-point halftime lead.

Despite the best efforts of Burroughs guard Ezekiel Zuniga (19 points) the Falcons led even bigger after three quarters, 67-27. The Indians, who are 6-9 overall as of Wednesday, simply lacked height against CV. Their tallest players that saw court time, Zuniga and guard Austyn Thompson, stand at 6 feet.