Falcons pound San Gorgonio, lose to Tesero

Nick Dragovich takes it home against San Gorgonio at the CIF playoff game on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Unfortunately, that was the final game in the playoffs as the Tesero Titans took the Friday contest. Photo by Leonard COUTIN

By Brandon HENSLEY

History will show the Falcons didn’t beat a great team in their CIF Southern Section Division1-A playoff game Wednesday night, Feb. 17. In fact, San Gorgonio snuck its way into the postseason with a 9-17 record before entering the Crescenta Valley gym.

But don’t and try and tell that to the CV boys basketball program. Its collective back is now monkey-less after the Falcons turned a tight game into a laugher and beat the Spartans 63-37 to advance to the second round.

It is the first time the Falcons have done so since 2002. To put it into perspective, freshman Cole Currie, a regular starter this season, was in the first grade when CV last won in the playoffs. Back then, the gym the Falcons play in was brand new, and All-League guards Jimmy Goffredo and Chris Tarne were terrorizing the opposition.

Head Coach Shawn Zargarian, who was a varsity assistant then, led his team to another 20-win season and, more importantly, to another playoff game Friday against Tesero. The momentum which carried the Falcons to the playoffs was lost on Friday, however, with the Tesero Titans winning 58-55.

But back to Wednesday’s contest.

Senior forward Coltrane Powdrill had 10 points and 13 rebounds. He shot only four for 12, but teammate Nick Dragovich had 17 points and continually sliced apart the Spartans interior defense. Collectively, CV shot an impressive 47 percent from the field. Guard Adam Dasaad was the perimter hero, scoring 13 points. It was the kind of balanced attack Zargarian has come to expect.

“Anytime this year we’ve had multiple scorers, about three or four scorers, we’ve come out on top,” Zargarian said. “It takes pressure off of Coltrane and Nick and it builds confidence for our other guys.”

The Falcons got off to a slow start and only led 9-7 after one quarter, perhaps in part because of the pressure San Gorgonio was applying. CV committed five turnovers in the period.

Christian Misi takes it up. Photos by Leonard COUTIN

But in the second, Dragovich, as well as Christian Misi (10 points and six rebounds) controlled the inside offensively and CV took a 25-14 lead into the half.

“We knew that we had a size advantage, so we were trying to pound it inside, work the inside game, and the outside shots came,” Dasaad said.

Surprisingly, the Spartans went on the offensive to open the third. Demario Brooks and Cameron Upshire scored 16 of the team’s 19 points in the third. Upshire missed all six of his shots in the first half.

The Spartans got the lead down to two a couple of times in the period. Zargarian said the Falcons “playing scared to make mistakes” at some points in the game.

But the fourth quarter brought about the expected result. San Gorgonio scored just four points in the fourth and ended up shooting just 30% for the game. At one point, Dasaad came off a double screen at the top of the key wide open, and nailed a 3-pointer to put the Falcons up 50-35.

“Adam’s a kid who can shoot the basketball,” Zargarian said. “He’s a gamer, he knows when the game’s on the line and he can step up and make shots and he did that for us.”

Dasaad said keeping his confidence was the key for his performance. “The first half I was kind of dry,” he said. “But they just started falling. You gotta let them fly. As a shooter you have to have a short memory.”

And then there’s Currie. History will also show his first ever shot in the playoffs didn’t even hit the rim. He didn’t score, but collected five assists, and just a minute after his air ball, he threaded a baseline pass to Powdrill for a layup that had former CV coach and now-regular observer John Goffredo yelling his praises.