Rivalries to Be Savored

Whether it’s Duke and North Carolina or USC and UCLA, basketball rivalries are the stuff of legend, even at the high school level.
Last Friday night, Glendale High traveled to Hoover for a boys’ and girls’ Pacific League matches, and each school had a win.
On the boys’ side, Hoover rode a wave as three players scored in double figures and posted a 69-56 victory, while the Glendale girls’ were never headed and breezed to a 43-22 win.
Dominant from the outset, the Tornadoes hit their first five shots from the field in the second quarter, including three from the three-point stripe and took command, 33-24, at the half.
It was a lot to recover from, but the Nitros finished with a minor flurry in the fourth quarter, though they were still outscored, 22-19.
Narek Abcarian scored 12 of his game-high 21 points in the first half. Seven of Abcarian’s points came at the free-throw line as the Tornadoes (11-9 and 2-5 in league) made 24 of 31 from the line.
Samson Injigulyan added 16 points, including 10 in the second half, while Sevada Minassians tossed in 14 points.
Glendale (6-13 and 1-6 in league) was outscored in every quarter, and made 18 of 57 shots (32 percent) from the field, and drilled 16 of 21 at the free-throw line.
“Since last Friday we’ve only stressed defense,’’ said Hoover Head Coach Henrik Sardarbegian. “We didn’t even practice one offensive play.”
Glendale’s Anthony Tahmazian dropped in a team-best 14 points, while Taron Israelian scored nine points.
Only challenged in the third quarter, the Glendale girls’ set sail early against Hoover, knocking down four shots from three-point range in the opening half, and adding four more in the second half.
The Nitros (5-12 and 1-6 in league) were paced by Sarah Mirzaeian, who finished with a game-high 18 points. Mirzaeian drained four three-pointers, and scored 11 points in the first quarter.
After being held scoreless in the second quarter, Mirzaeian tallied seven points in the second half.
Stella Ghazarian chipped in with 14 points for the Nitros, and contributed three from the three-point arc.
Glendale outscored Hoover, 14-3, in the first quarter, and was in control, 20-5, at the half.
Perhaps feeling pity, Glendale Head Coach Tania Adary went to her reserves early in the third quarter, as the Tornadoes (3-14 and 0-7 in league) crawled within 26-18 entering the fourth quarter.
“I just think after we took the big lead, we let up a little,’’ said Adary. “When they [Glendale] came back in the third quarter, I took my starters out, but then they went back in and we pulled away.”
Hoover Head Coach Martik Ghookasion found some bright light. “We had some momentum in the third quarter,” he said, “and that was good.”
But a 17-point final quarter for the Nitros iced it, as they made six of 10 shots from the floor, while Hoover converted one of 10.

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