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Crescenta Valley boys' basketball overcomes doubters to reach semifinals

Cole Currie pours in 27 to help Crescenta Valley Falcons punch ticket to final four with 68-54 win.

February 22, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Crescenta Valley senior guard Cole Currie finished with 27 points and nine rebounds.
Crescenta Valley senior guard Cole Currie finished with… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

LA CRESCENTA — Few believed the Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball team could match what it accomplished last year. That doubt fueled the fourth-seeded Falcons right back to the CIF Southern Section Division I-A semifinals Friday night.

Crescenta Valley did so behind a game-high 27 points from its senior leader Cole Currie, who also had nine rebounds, and 21 more from junior spark plug Nick Springer in the quarterfinals. It led the Falcons past Long Beach Millikan's high-pressure defense and fast-pace offense, 68-54, on Crescenta Valley's home floor.

“It feels so good, especially coming into this year, a lot of people were down on us and to be in the same position is just incredible,” said Currie, the Falcons’ only returning starter and key player from 2012. “It's just a testament to our players, [Coach Shawn Zargarian] and the coaching staff to be here in back-to-back years.”

While CV (23-7) did lead for a majority of the game and the final score may suggest a lopsided win, as the Rams cut what was a nine-point Falcons' lead at halftime to two points, 39-37, two minutes and 58 seconds into the third quarter.

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“They made that run at us in the third quarter and I felt like it completely sucked air out of us — coaching staff, players — I've got to be honest, we were deflated,” Zargarian said.

Millikan's Brian Chambers, who finished with a team-high 21 points, came out of halftime ready to shoot the lights out, and he did just that for a two-minute spurt.

The senior drilled his first three-pointer 29 seconds into the half, added another 41 seconds and stroked his third 47 ticks after that to bring the Rams within five, 37-32, with less than two minutes into the third.

Currie threw in a reverse layup for his second bucket of the quarter, but Millikan's Mark Thomas and Malik Marquetti (14 points, five steals) scored the next five points on consecutive layups — the second of the and-one variety — to bring the score to 39-37 with 4:02 left in the third.

“We definitely started panicking when they started making some shots,” said Springer, who also had eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks in the game.

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