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.”
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.