Nitros Hold off Brahmas

It had been 19 years since the Glendale High boys’ basketball team emerged victorious in a CIF Southern Section playoff game.

This changed last Friday night as the Nitros pushed aside visiting Diamond Bar, 56-49, in an opening-round Division IA match.

A three-point bulge at the intermission turned into an 11-point spread when guard Arada Zakarian canned a three-pointer with 5:11 left in the third quarter, and it became 39-26 after forward Sevan Pogosyan scored on a lob.

“It means everything to us,’’ said Pogosyan, a senior who finished with a game-high 18 points and five rebounds. “We’re playing [top-seeded] Mission Viejo (24-3) next. We know how good they are. But we’re going to show up.”

The Brahmas missed their first five shots from the field to begin the second half, while Glendale (14-13 and 8-6 in the Pacific League) failed on its first two attempts.

Diamond Bar entered the fourth quarter down 41-36 after it made six of 10 from the free-throw line as forward Steven Goytia (nine points), center Frankie Martinez (six points), and point guard Chris Manalo (10 points) all made two.

Glendale took six shots in the final quarter and hit three, but drilled eight of 10 from the charity line as Pogosyan made three, while Zakarian and senior center David Yetenikyan (eight points with eight rebounds) each converted two.

“We did not take bad shots tonight, and we pushed the action,’’ said Glendale Head Coach Steve Snodgress. “We took a little distance in the third quarter when David (three fouls) went out, and that was hard.”

The Brahmas (13-16 and 6-6 in the Hacienda League) dropped four of six to begin the fourth quarter and came within 48-44 when Manalo scored with 4:31 left.

“We’re a good defensive team, but we didn’t rotate sometimes,’’ said Diamond Bar Head Coach Ty Watkins. “We started the second half by missing two free throws, and we went into a lull offensively.”

After power forward Brandon Rice (team-best 12 points) scored midway through the fourth quarter, Diamond Bar then missed six of seven shots from the floor.

Diamond Bar’s shooting woes began in the first quarter (two of 12) and finished 16 of 46 (34.7 percent).

Meanwhile, the Nitros knocked down five of 13 from the field and took a 12-7 lead as Pogosyan tallied five points.

Pogosyan hit two three-pointers in the second quarter, and forward Bobby Casaburi (nine points) made one as the Nitros (20 of 45 for 44.4 percent) led 29-26 at the half.

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