Just when it appeared the Pasadena High boys’ basketball team was on the verge of blowing out host Hoover early in the second quarter last Friday night, the Tornadoes dug in their heels, rallied in the second half and even had an opportunity to tie or win the Pacific League game, but the Bulldogs held on for a 50-46 victory.
Pasadena (7-7 and 2-0 in league) led by two points with a half-minute left after forging a four-point halftime lead, but Hoover’s final shot was poorly executed.
“When we played basketball, we played well,’’ said Hoover Head Coach Jack Van Patten, whose team made 20 of 43 shots for 46.5 percent. “We can play with them and we can beat them. I’m looking to get better.’’
Pasadena senior point guard Ajon Efferson was the game’s top point-producer with 21, and he tallied 14 in the second half.
Efferson had five points in the first quarter and senior shooting guard Nick Brown’s three-pointer with 4:50 left in the second quarter gave Pasadena a 21-11 edge.
But that’s when the Tornadoes (9-5 and 0-2 in league) found their stride and closed out the final four minutes by getting within 23-19 at the intermission as junior power forward Chris Sarkisian delivered six of his co-team best 14 points, and junior shooting guard Argin Sarkisian had four of his 14 points.
Hoover kept itself in the match by making nine of 20 field goal attempts (45 percent) at the break, while Pasadena managed to convert 10 of 29 (34.4 percent).
“It’s a tough loss. We came out with good energy,’’ said Hoover senior small forward Teo Davidian, who dropped in four points. “No one expected us to be there.”
The Tornadoes hit six of 11 from the floor in the third quarter and outscored the Bulldogs, 17-15.
Efferson’s eight points in the third quarter was bolstered by sophomore small forward Tyrek Adams’ four points as Pasadena (18 of 48 for 37.5 percent) entered the fourth quarter with a 38-36 lead.
Adams (13 points) added a follow-up dunk with 5:55 left in the final quarter that made it 44-38, and he also drained three free throws.