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CV surges to semifinals

Basketball: Falcons' boys top El Toro, 61-49, to clinch first berth in CIF semis since 1994.

February 24, 2012|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com
(Libby Cline )

LA CRESCENTA — In what had been a game of runs all night, the Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball team sprinted to the finish.

The Falcons finally ran away with the game midway through the fourth quarter of Friday night's CIF Southern Section Division 1A quarterfinal against visiting El Toro, delighting their overflowing home crowd and claiming the program's first semifinal berth in 18 years with a 61-49 win.

Crescenta Valley (26-4) was led by a balanced attack, including 14 points from junior guard Cole Currie and 13 points from senior wing Davis Dragovich, but the biggest spark came from senior center Christian Misi, who had a breakout game with 15 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three blocks.

"I just don't want to go home yet, I don't want to be done with the season," said Misi, whose Falcons will play host and top seed Mission Viejo, an 81-77 winner on Friday in overtime over West Ranch, at 7 p.m. Tuesday. "That's what was in my mind. That's why I stepped it up in the second half."

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Misi hadn't played up to his usual level in the stat sheet over the Falcons' first two playoff wins and began Friday's game much the same way, making just one of five shots for two first-half points while playing with two fouls.

"Christian had a tough game in the first round ... then he had a tough one in the second round," Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian said. "He was fired up and we knew he would come out today and he was going to make sure we won this game."

Misi came alive just when the Falcons needed it most, right as the Chargers had battled back from a six-point halftime deficit to take a 30-29 lead with four minutes left in the third quarter.

"Coach always tells us basketball is a game of runs, they get their run, we know we're coming back," Misi said. "We don't back down when they come at us. We're tough, we're a resilient team, so we can handle that kind of thing."

On the Falcons' next possession, Misi found senior guard Tade Keshishyan for an open three-pointer in the corner to reclaim the lead and Misi fortified it with a three-pointer of his own at the 3:21 mark to make it 35-30. Thirty seconds later, Misi drove hard to the rim and drew a foul on El Toro center Jordan Faison (18 points), his third.

"Cole and Davis were hitting shots to open up opportunities for me on the weak side," Misi said. "I was just able to take advantage of them today. I hit a shot, got to the rim a couple of times, got [Faison] in foul trouble and so it just all worked out."

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