PASADENA — Glendale High’s girls’ basketball team won its first league game of the season in convincing fashion and faced little resistance in doing so.
Granted, the win came against a rebuilding Pasadena squad that has already seen two head coaches this season and carries no seniors on the roster.
Still, Nitros Coach Tania Adary hopes the win will instill some confidence in her team as the season progresses and jumpstart an offense that struggled in losses to Crescenta Valley and Burroughs.
“They’re able to gain knowledge of what we’re expecting and we did a good job executing,” said Adary after the Nitros’ 67-34 Pacific League win over the Bulldogs at Pasadena High on Monday evening. “We still need to clean up some things.”
The 67 points was the highest output of the season for Glendale, which improved to 7-10 overall and 1-2 in Pacific League play. Kristina Sahakian led the way with 17 points and 15 rebounds, as she took advantage with easy baskets inside.
Heidy Garcia (11 points) connected on three of the team’s five three-pointers and provided outside shooting that Adary and the Nitros have not seen quite enough of thus far this season. The Nitros shot nearly 50% in the first half (16 of 33), but dropped to 38% for the game, although the lead in the second half was never in doubt and allowed the Nitros to sit their starters.
A 17-0 Nitros run in the first quarter did all but put the game away, as the score was 21-4 in Glendale’s favor after the first eight minutes of play. Garcia put in eight of the 17 points, including two from behind the arc that sparked the run. Consecutive steals in the backcourt led to two baskets from Ivet Satorian late in the quarter that saw the Nitros hold the Bulldogs to four points.
Glendale’s defense overwhelmed Pasadena throughout the contest, resulting in 12 steals — five from Torie Mitjans.
Pasadena did not threaten at any time in the game, but did keep up the energy under new coach Rodney Nichols’ tutelage.
“We’re a start-up,” said Nichols, who took over at the helm during the nonleague season on Dec. 2. “I think 2006 was the last time Pasadena was competitive, with Brittany Spears. We’re trying to change the culture and with young talent we’re going to take lumps this year, but we’ll be better served.”
The 2006 Bulldogs, led by Spears, were the most recent in the program’s history to win at least a share of the Pacific League title. They went 9-1 that year and tied with Muir atop the standings.
Pasadena (3-10, 0-3) was led by Liana Muradian’s 13 points — 11 in the second half, including the team’s final nine points. Aleen Joukadarian followed up with eight.
Glendale will host Arcadia and Muir this week, one in which Adary is glad to start off with a win.
“It gives us positive momentum,” said Adary of the win on Monday. “It’s a good start to a long week.”