GLENDALE — With a majority of its varsity players in another tournament, the Glendale High boys’ basketball team took on Eagle Rock in a summer league game at Glendale Community College on Saturday.
The Nitros basically had their junior varsity squad as the varsity team was playing in the War on the Floor Tournament at Burroughs High School.
The Eagles’ roster looked more like what it’ll see come winter time, but the younger Nitros were superior in an impressive 61-54 victory.
Glendale was led by 18 points from Christian Nguyen, followed up by Alex Garibyan’s 16 and Leo Vasghanian’s 11.
“It was mainly developmental,” said Nitros assistant coach Natasha Belou, who was on the sidelines as head coach Ib Belou sat across the Glendale bench. “They stepped up and played hard. There were a couple mistakes we need to clean up but I’m proud of them and it’s nice they got the win.”
As a team, the Nitros hit seven three-pointers as they controlled the pace of the game throughout, never trailing after Andrew Hovanesian’s three-pointer gave them a 7-4 advantage.
The Nitros were effective in driving the ball to complement the outside shooting, earning 14 free throws and making 11. Each free throw counts as two points in summer league, adding the importance of being aggressive for Glendale.
Hovanesian’s three sparked a 13-0 run as the Nitros defense held Eagle Rock without a point in more than six minutes of running clock.
They maintained the lead until taking a 32-21 lead at halftime.
The Eagles cut the lead to two at 36-34 at the 13:02 mark of the second half, prompting a Glendale timeout.
Long balls from Vasghanian and Edgar Kirakosyan kept Eagle Rock trailing, 44-36, but would keep it close until Glendale iced it down the stretch.
Garibyan answered a three-point play at 6:50 on the other end. Minutes later, Arthur Chebishian hit a clutch three that doubled the Nitros’ advantage to 49-43.
Eagle Rock scored on its next possessions before Nguyen’s basket with less than four minutes remaining ended the comeback attempt.
The Nitros led the entire second half.