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Pacific power shift ahead for local basketball?

Crescenta Valley basketball has untested team, while Glendale looks to keep rising; Flintridge Prep, St. Francis aim for CIF playoff return.

November 21, 2012|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: Flintridge Prep's junior point guard Robert Cartwright is one of nine returning players from a 2010-11 team that won the Division V-AA championship.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Flintridge Prep's junior point… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

When it came to local boys’ basketball, 2011-12 was the Crescenta Valley High Falcons’ year. In far and away the most successful local campaign, CV won 26 games and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division I-A semifinals for the first time in 18 years and even made an appearance in the state tournament.

It will be without a large number of departed seniors from that run that the Falcons break ground on the 2012-13 season, just as there will be a clean slate for the three other local squads that made the playoffs last year — Flintridge Prep, Glendale and St. Francis — and those that hope to get back there after a drought.

Glendale, which finished tied for third in the Pacific League behind Crescenta Valley and champion Pasadena before advancing to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in veteran coach Steve Snodgress’ tenure, may be positioned to challenge the Falcons and Bulldogs this year with a strong senior core and a new addition that brings an instant presence in the middle.

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The Nitros lost the dynamic guard/post combo of Sevan Pogosyan and David Yetenikyan, but the swing guard trio of seniors Arada Zakarian, Vahe Aristakessian and Rene Saavedra bring back starting experience and most of the scoring firepower.

“We’ve got some big shoes to fill, but we’ve got some experienced guys coming back,” Snodgress said. “That’s the strength of the team, but we’ve got to catch up the guys on the front line.”

At 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, junior Arthur Terzyan, a late call-up last year who played in the Nitros’ two playoff games, will be looked at to anchor the middle.

“I think we can get better as the year goes on,” Snodgress said.

Crescenta Valley lost three prominent starters from last season in guard Dylan Kilgour, forward Davis Dragovich and All-CIF first-team center Christian Misi, not to mention center Rudy Avila and guard Tade Keshishyan, who played heavy minutes off the bench.

That leaves senior and four-year stating guard Cole Currie as the only returner with extensive varsity experience, although senior forward Elliot Wilson started games down the stretch last year. Other returners include junior guard Nick Springer, who transferred into the program last year, and Kris Jaborian, who can play multiple front and backcourt positions.

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