BURBANK — Glendale High boys’ basketball player Manouk Manoukian came out in the second half of the Nitros’ Pacific League boys’ basketball game against Burbank with fiery accuracy.
As the Bulldogs held on to a one-point lead at the break, the Nitros senior forward opened the third quarter by scoring three straight baskets for eight unanswered points as the visitors pulled away from Burbank.
Manoukian finished the quarter with 12 points on five-of-six shooting, as Glendale went on to a 64-43 victory against Burbank in a Pacific League contest Friday.
“The difference was defense,” Glendale coach Ib Belou said. “Defensively, we set the tone in the second half. That energy was what got us a couple of easy baskets. In the second half, we touched on this: I want five defensive players that are going to bust their tail, play for one another and don’t be rattled when we’re playing. That’s it, and that’s what we did.
“I think the reason why we expanded on that lead was because our defense was solid.”
Manoukian led all scorers with 21 points, to go along with nine rebounds.
“We were down by one and we weren’t playing our best basketball,” Manoukian said. “I just wanted to come out here and take them out. I just wanted to put them away. We were forcing a little too much in the first half. Second half, we let the game come to us.”
After the senior scored on a jump-shot to start the third, Manoukian drained consecutive three-pointers to give Glendale (13-10, 5-3 in league) a 36-29 lead at the 6:09 mark.
Burbank (6-14, 2-6) got on the board with a basket from junior Kelton Shea before Manoukian responded with a mid-range shot to push Glendale ahead, 38-31.
A three-pointer from Bulldogs senior Kouroush Dolatshahi and a pair of free throws from Shea put Burbank within 38-36 with 4:36 left in the third. But the Nitros embarked on an 11-0 run and took a 49-36 advantage at the end of the quarter.
“I think our guys were pressing a little in the first half and they were putting too much on their shoulders,” Belou said. “Second half, we just trusted one another, made the right basketball play and avoided playing hero ball.”
Glendale junior David Shamiryan added 17 points and six rebounds.
Shea led the Bulldogs with 14 points while grabbing five rebounds. Burbank junior Elmer Reyes added nine points and senior Kevin Sarkes recorded seven rebounds.
The Nitros scored consecutive three-pointers to take a 6-2 lead midway into the opening quarter.
The Bulldogs climbed back and took a one-point lead with 3:21 to go in the first, but back-to-back baskets from Shamiryan gave the visitors a 10-7 lead moments later.
A three from Reyes knotted the game at 12 with 1:08 left before the Bulldogs took a two-point lead from a baseline layup from Bulldogs guard J.G. Lambert.
Glendale regained the lead on a three-pointer from junior Eric White for a 15-14 advantage at the end of the first period.
The teams traded baskets early in the second, but the Nitros began to pull away to a 28-21 lead with 2:10 left in the half.
With just one second left in the quarter, Burbank sophomore Phoenix Mosley drove to the basket and scored off the glass as the Bulldogs capped an 8-0 run at the end of the half for a 29-28 lead.
“We had a good first half,” Burbank first-year coach Sid Cooke said. “I think we had a couple miscues and we’ll learn from that experience. We can compete, we just go into little mental breakdowns.”
The Nitros scored six unanswered to start the fourth quarter for a 55-36 lead before White and Glendale senior Leo Vasghanian scored back-to-back threes to close out the game.