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Crescenta Valley basketball comes up short in semifinals

Basketball: No. 1 El Toro¿s big lead too much to overcome for Falcons.

February 26, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Crescenta Valley's Cole Currie drives to the basket against El Toro's Liam Skelly at El Toro High School in Lake Forest in a CIF Division 1A semifinal boys basketball game on Tuesday, February 26, 2013. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
Crescenta Valley's Cole Currie drives to the basket… (Tim Berger/Staff…)

LAKE FOREST – On its way to the CIF Southern Section Division I-A semifinals, the Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball team had overcome bad shooting nights a number of times.

Whether it was defense that picked them up or they got hot in the second half, the Falcons seemed to have a knack for doing so. But after falling behind by double digits early in a road semifinal game against top-seeded El Toro, that uncanny ability was nowhere to be found in a 68-38 loss.

“We hit the double whammy where our offense was absolutely horrible, as far as being able to make stops, and defensively we couldn't contain them,” said CV Coach Shawn Zargarian, whose team shot 21 percent (12 of 58) from the floor in the game, while the Chargers shot 50 percent (19 of 38).

Cole Currie finished with a team-high 15 points, shooting 40 percent (six of 15) from the floor and 30 percent from three-point land (three of nine), for the fourth-seeded Falcons. Like the rest of his teammates, few if any easy shots came easy for Currie, with no other CV player scoring more than eight points.

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El Toro Coach Todd Dixon, whose team ran a matchup zone that focused on Currie, said it was the best defensive game his team has played all year, as his team held CV to 20 percent shooting (six of 30) in the first half.

“Defensively, we were fantastic,” he said, “to only give up 38 points to that team is really nice. I thought we did a good job on Cole Currie, he's a hell of a player.”

Both Dixon and Zargarian highlighted the opening to the second half as a key in the game.

Crescenta Valley's defense managed to rally in the third quarter after going into the halftime down, 33-19. El Toro (27-5) didn't score in the opening 3:40 of the second half, but the Falcons (23-8) managed just one point on an Eric Patten (six points, 11 rebounds) free throw in that span.

“We came out in the third quarter and stopped them for about three-and-a-half minutes, but we couldn't capitalize by scoring,” Zargarian said. “We didn't take bad shots, but I think we took hurried shots.”

It was El Toro's Tanner Aguera who ended the stalemate with a three-pointer off an inbounds play. It sparked a 10-2 El Toro run, with Aguera hitting another three in that span, for the Chargers. The spurt pushed the home team's lead to 43-22 with 2:37 to go in the third.

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