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Trio of local basketball teams advance to state tournament

Basketball: Crescenta Valley High boys, along with Flintridge Prep boys' and girls' teams, will take part in prestigious tournament.

March 06, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@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…)

After making deep postseason runs in the CIF Southern Section playoffs, three local high school basketball teams have been invited to participate in the CIF State Basketball Championships.

The Crescenta Valley boys' squad, along with the Flintridge Prep boys' and girls' teams, will participate in the prestigious tournament after each squad advanced to the Southern Section semifinals in the postseason.

All three teams will hit the road for first-round matchups Wednesday.

Crescenta Valley, which finished second in the Pacific League before reaching the CIF Southern Section Division I-A semifinals, will make its second consecutive trip to the state tournament. The 10th-seeded Falcons (23-7) will meet seventh-seeded Crenshaw (19-9) at 7 p.m. in a Division I contest.

Crenshaw finished runner-up in its L.A. City Section championship game.

"We told our guys that if you are able to get to the semifinals or finals in CIF and the first round of state, it's a tremendous accomplishment," Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian said. "You are talking about two talented teams going up against each other with rich histories.

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"Crenshaw is battle tested and very athletic. They are not a team with a lot of size, but they have a lot of quick players. We gave our guys a day or two off, but now we are refreshed and ready for this challenge."

The winner of the Crescenta Valley-Crenshaw contest will face second-seeded Clovis West or 15th-seeded Rancho Verde of Moreno Valley in a second-round title Saturday.

Like Crescenta Valley, Flintridge Prep's boys' team will have a difficult first-round test. Thirteenth-seeded Flintridge Prep will face fourth-seeded Village Christian in a Division V game at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at The Master's College in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Flintridge Prep (22-6) and Village Christian (26-4) both fell in the Division V-AA semifinals. Village Christian won the Division V state championship last season.

"They are the defending state champions and they have a lot of returners," said Flintridge Prep Coach Garrett Ohara, whose team will make its second appearance in the state tournament in the last three seasons. "A lot of people were shocked that they lost to Buckley in the semifinals, but they have a lot of size and depth.

"It's a huge challenge for us. We have quite a few guys who have state experience and we are glad to be back there."

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