Crescenta Valley High boys' basketball wins elusive share of Pacific League title

Basketball: Falcons fend off pesky rival, 54-47, to win first league championship since 2004.

February 13, 2014|By Andrew J. Campa,

ARCADIA — No matter how many wins or how far a postseason run the Crescenta Valley High boys’ basketball team would make, one prize remained elusive year after year.

The Falcons were never quite able to haul in a Pacific League championship during the 10-year tenure of head coach and school alumnus Shawn Zargarian.

That was until Thursday evening, when the Falcons finally had their chance and only had struggling archrival Arcadia in their way.


While the Apaches gave the Falcons a real battle, there was no denying Crescenta Valley, which clinched a share of its first league title since 2004 with a 54-47 victory.

“I’m going to tell you right now I can finally say the words Pacific League champions,” said Zargarian, who was hugged after the victory by Jim Smiley, the last former Falcons coach to win a crown and who Zargarian assisted. “I’ve been dying for the last two or three weeks.

“The closer we’ve been getting – it’s like one those things where you’re reaching, but you can’t quite get there. We got there this year because of this special bunch.”

The Pacific League championship is the fourth-ever for Crescenta Valley (20-8, 12-2 in league) and third that involved Zargarian, who was a player on the 1995 winning squad and an assistant coach on Smiley’s bench in 2004.

With the win, the Falcons tie 10-time reigning league champion Pasadena (17-9, 12-2), which defeated archrival Muir on Thursday to grab its half of the title. Up next for the Falcons is the CIF Southern Section Division I-AA playoffs, which begin next week after the pairings are released Sunday.

As for Thursday’s contest, the Falcons received a challenge from the last-place Apaches (4-21, 1-13), who briefly held leads in the third quarter and never fell behind further than eight points in the second half until the final seconds.

Crescenta Valley took a 40-32 lead over Arcadia with 6:37 remaining in the game on a pair of free throws from senior center Eric Patten, who finished with a team-high 19 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks.

Yet, the Apaches countered with a jumper from Aaron Harvey on their next possession down that fueled a mini 8-4 spurt capped on a straightaway three-pointer from Peter Panah with 3:37 remaining, which brought the home team within, 44-40.

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