GLENDALE — Pandemonium erupted roughly two hours after the Glendale High boys’ basketball team tipped off its latest Pacific League matchup with visiting Muir.
The jubilation resulted from four overtimes and a range of emotions that saw the Nitros make clutch shot after clutch shot before finally coming out victorious, 80-77, Friday evening at Glendale High School.
Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress has seen much in his tenure, but admitted his latest game brought on a first.
“I have never been in a four-overtime game,” said Snodgress after the 48-minute affair. “I’ve been watching games here since 1959, ever since I was a little boy, and this is one of the most exciting games I’ve seen in the Glendale gym.”
It has been an eventful week for Snodgress and the Nitros (7-10, 2-3), who notched their first league victory by one point on Wednesday. The potent play down the stretch carried over to Friday’s tilt with Muir that was taken into overtime by three clutch free throws by Stephan Arakelyan that tied the game at 57 with 5.6 remaining in regulation.
The first overtime frame was highlighted by Raffi Jivalagian’s three-pointer with 2.3 seconds remaining to tie the score at 60 apiece. It would be the 12th tie of a game that finished with 18.
Muir’s Dejon William sent the game into a third overtime with a late basket. The Mustangs have been no stranger to prolonged basketball games this week, as their league matchup with Burbank on Monday needed five overtimes to settle and they were defeated in overtime by Hoover on Wednesday.
William’s two free throws in the third overtime gave the Mustangs a 73-70 lead, and one last look at a game-tying jump shot from behind the arc for Glendale. Alex Miralis, being the co-captain he is, responded to the challenge and connected on one from the right wing. William’s misfire from the sideline on the other end meant a fourth overtime between the two squads.
It was in the fourth overtime where Arthur Terzyan’s tip-in moments into it was a go-ahead score and, later, Eddie Uluchyan’s three stood as the game-winner, as the Nitros held on for the win.
“It’s unbelievable, I can’t describe it,” said Miralis, who scored 15 points for the Nitros— eight coming in overtime. “I just want to thank all my teammates, they kept encouraging me. I just wanted to hit the shot, and I knew it was going in before it left my hands.”
The Nitros trailed in three of the four extra periods, and by as many as four with less than a minute remaining in the third overtime, but as was the theme in each of the four nerve wracking stanzas, big shots from Arakelyan and Miralis helped overcome the deficit and prevent a loss.
“When you play four overtimes, whoever wins is fortunate,” Snodgress said. “The ball is bouncing everywhere, but I guess we just made one more play. Every time we needed a shot, a shot went in.”
Perhaps fittingly, the game was tied going into halftime. The Nitros reeled off 16 answered points in the third quarter and closed the quarter on a 21-6 run to lead by 10 going into the fourth. It would be a forgettable fourth quarter, as Glendale squandered the lead, setting up the memorable moments and eventually a victory.
“It was one of the most exciting games,” Snodgress said. “Muir played 10 overtime [sessions] this week and the ball bounced all over the gym. We had a mountain to climb. Everybody did something special.”