NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Vahe Aristakessian wasn’t going to fret after he missed a free throw in the closing seconds of the second half that likely would have given the Glendale High boys’ basketball team a victory in regulation against Pacific League rival Burroughs.
Aristakessian shook off the misfortune and took it upon himself to stand out in overtime. He got the job done.
“I missed the free throws at the end (with 3.6 seconds left), and I wanted to help my team win in overtime,” said Aristakessian, who scored six of his 20 points in overtime to spark Glendale to a 48-45 victory against Burroughs on Friday afternoon in a pool-play game of the Vaquero Summer Classic at Glendale Community College. “Burroughs has a pretty good team, so I knew I had to go out there and step it up.
“I felt like I could have some momentum going into overtime. We wanted to not only win this game, but we want to win our pool.”
Aristakessian made all four of his free-throw shots in the three-minute overtime session, with his last two giving the Nitros a 46-42 lead with 10.8 seconds left. He also made a field goal with 1:01 left to make it 44-42.
Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress, whose team will face Mark Keppel in another pool-play game at 3:05 p.m. today, said Aristakessian responded well.
“He bounced back very nicely,” said Snodgress, who received 14 points from Rene Saavedra. “He picked up the slack and he’s been working very hard on his offensive game.
“I thought we were very active and we shared the ball well, especially in overtime.”
Aristakessian made two free throws with 1:04 left in the second half to knot the game at 40.
Burroughs, which trailed, 26-23, at halftime, got 14 points from Lawrence White.
Burroughs’ lone lead in overtime came when Jorge Flores-Pere made a pair of free throws to make it 42-40 with 2:10 remaining.
Burroughs assistant Scott Koulouvaris said the Nitros proved too be too difficult to handle throughout most of the 40-minute contest.
“Glendale did a good job stopping us and we had a lot of problems stopping them,” Koulouvaris said. “We tried to find some combinations that would work defensively for us, but it didn’t happen.
“We see improvement. Sometimes it’s two steps forward and then one step back.”
Saavedra made a long jump shot to give the Nitros an 18-11 advantage with 9:24 left in the first half. Flores-Pere scored on a layup to bring Burroughs to within 20-17 with 6:05 remaining.
Burroughs will meet Mark Keppel in a final pool-play contest at 5:15 p.m. today.