Falcon Boys Basketball on Fire Through First 10 Games

Junior Mike Grigoryan makes an off-balance layup over a Pasadena defender.
Photos by Justin HAGER

By Justin HAGER

The CVHS boys’ basketball team is 10 games into the 2021-22 season and at 8-2 overall and 2-0 in the Pacific League. The Falcons are on the brink of breaking into the top-50 teams in the state, according to MaxPreps. In the past week, the boys have earned victories over fellow Pacific League rivals Pasadena and Glendale, a nail-biting victory over archrival La Cañada, a victory over then-California’s top 20 ranked Moorpark (the loss to CVHS sent the Musketeers tumbling to 73rd in the state) and a third-place finish in the Burroughs regional tournament.

“I feel wonderful!” said CVHS varsity basketball coach Shawn Zagarian. “Beating Pasadena is a big deal for us but we’re just trying to focus on one thing at a time.”

Asked about his other big win over La Cañada last week, Zagarian replied, “The La Cañada versus Crescenta Valley rivalry has been around for as long as I can remember. When I played at CV we had it… We were really excited about how both teams came in and made it a battle going both ways. I tip my hat off to them. Our guys made some big plays down the stretch and got us a gritty win.”

Late free throws from seniors Allen Boghosian (above) and John Herbert sealed the victory for CVHS over La Cañada.

Grit doesn’t fully describe the excitement at Burroughs High School in Burbank when CVHS took on the La Cañada Spartans. As the third period came to a close, La Cañada seemed to have all of the momentum going its way. The team had come back from several large deficits, were holding a three-point lead and seemed capable of dropping a three-point bomb every time it was needed. However, with just under three minutes remaining in the third period, both teams entered what would become a more than two-minute scoring drought. The drought was finally broken when CVHS senior Eddie Hematsiraki found the bottom of the net with a game tying three-pointer as the clock expired. Entering the fourth quarter tied at 46, both teams exchanged baskets for a few minutes until a string of offensive rebounds and a series of clutch free throws gave the Falcons a five-point lead and an eventual 64-58 victory over the Spartans.

The Falcons travel back to Burroughs High School on Friday for a 7 p.m. showdown with the lightning-fast Burroughs Bears. The Bears record sits at 3-2 but their only losses thus far are a two-point nail biter to Glendale and substantial but nonetheless commendable loss to the California No. 16 ranked Heritage Christian Warriors.