GLENDALE — With three starters injured, the Glendale High boys’ basketball team took on North Hollywood Thursday a bit short-staffed.
That prompted Nitros Coach Steve Snodgress to call on some inexperienced players, including two sophomores, to help shoulder some of the load in the Glendale Summer League game.
The players proved up to the task for most of the game, as Glendale enjoyed a 14-point lead with about six minutes remaining in the contest. However, the Nitros faltered down the stretch and the Huskies took full advantage, coming back to knock off the hosts in overtime, 69-63.
“Although we lost, this was by far one of the best games we have played this summer,” Snodgress said. “With three of our key guys out, it gave some of the younger players the opportunity to get some minutes and make some significant contributions.
“I was really pleased with the way we played for most of the game. We just gave it up in those last few minutes. It looks like we had it, but we made some turnovers and let them back in.”
The Nitros relied a great deal on their outside shooting against North Hollywood. Glendale was not shy about letting the ball fly from long range, as the team ended with 11 three-pointers.
Notching three of those three-pointers was Eddie Uluchyan, who poured in a team-high 16 points. Teammate Alex Miralis added 11 points, which included three three-pointers.
“If we have an open look we’re going to go for it and take the shot,” said Uluchyan, who had six points in the first 20-minute half. “We have guys who can shoot it and we have the experience, so when we have the opportunity, we take it.”
Losing the 6-foot-8 Arthur Terzyan to graduation and with its 6-3 post player sidelined, Glendale lacked a significant inside presence against North Hollywood. That let Huskies center Adrian Gutierrez do his share of damage down low. As a result, Gutierrez tallied a game-high 31 points, with the majority of his points coming in the paint.
With Glendale knocking down threes and playing well in the second half, it looked to be in control with a 14-point lead, 53-36, with 6:06 remaining. But behind Gutierrez and Sean Fernandez (15 points), North Hollywood came roaring back.
It embarked on a 14-2 run and grabbed the lead at 58-57 when Fernandez stole the ball and converted a three-point play with 19 seconds left.
“We really didn’t have an answer for their big guy and he just killed us inside,” Snodgress said. “And they have a nice point guard [in Gutierrez]. We probably extended the floor more than we should have and I don’t think that’s a good thing with this group.”
Down by one, the Nitros appeared to have the win salvaged when Edrick Abnous drove to the basket and scored with nine seconds left for a 59-58 advantage. But the Huskies rallied right back, pushing the ball up the floor and scoring on a driving layup by Gutierrez with 2.4 seconds left for a 60-59 Huskies’ lead.
With one more chance in regulation, Uluchyan put up a shot at the buzzer. Although the shot fell short, Uluchyan was fouled on the play and went to the line with no time left. He missed the first attempt, but made good on the second to tie things up at 60, sending the contest into a two-minute overtime.
Glendale missed its first two shots of the extra period and committed two turnovers, as it was outscored, 9-3, in overtime.
Follow Jeff Tully on Twitter: @jefftsports.