BURBANK — A chippy defensive battle between two Pacific League teams looking to end respective losing streaks came down to the final minute Tuesday afternoon.
In the last couple of possessions of the girls’ basketball contest between Glendale High and Burroughs, key plays on both ends of the court from the Nitros’ Kris Zadourian gave Glendale its first league win, while Burroughs suffered its fourth straight loss.
With the Indians fighting back late in the game, Zadourian’s steal with less than 20 seconds remaining and two clutch free throws clinched a 47-43 victory for the Nitros.
“We’ve been waiting for her to wake up, and she finally woke up today,” said Nitros Coach Tania Adary, who received a team-high 17 points from the junior forward. “She filled her role on offense and on defense. It was good to see.”
A fast start to the game that saw the Nitros end the first quarter with a 13-point lead thanks to seven-of-17 shooting nullified a less than stellar second half in which the team’s defense pick up the intensity while its offense cooled down, struggling to make just four field goals.
Glendale’s Tara Abdul-Ahad broke what would be the second and final tie of the game with a three-pointer midway through the first that set off a 13-0 run to end the quarter.
The Nitros (7-10, 1-5 in league) had a 30-18 advantage at halftime on balanced scoring, led by Zadourian’s 11 and Nina Sahakian’s 10. Erlin Keshishzadeh added six.
Burroughs’ offense never got going as it shot 39% from the field for the game. However, it was its third-quarter free-throw shooting that ultimately prevented the game from becoming tight late in the fourth frame. The Indians (7-13, 2-5) made four of 10 free throws in the third, as the Nitros led by double-digits at the end of the eight-minute frame despite committing more turnovers than field goals attempted (seven to six).
Burroughs Coach Vicky Oganyan, whose team won the league title last season, was visibly upset with a team that couldn’t complete a comeback against a Nitros squad that made one field goal in the fourth quarter.
“I told our team that one, Glendale is a good team and two, they are 0-5 in league, so they’re going to play like there’s no tomorrow,” she said. “And that’s what they did. They outplayed and outworked us and they deserved to win this game.”
The physical game had both teams in the bonus with 6:19 remaining. Burroughs went on a 7-0 run midway through the quarter, highlighted by a three-point basket from Gabriella Pineiro. But Zadourian’s two trips to the charity stripe resulted in four points that turned a one-possession game into two each time.
“It’s nice to work with a big lead,” Adary said. “Our offense went cold, and maybe they were drained.
“Me and Vicky have had some battles. Luckily today we were able to finish the game. I’m not sure what would have happened if we didn’t win this game after the lead we had.”
Burroughs’ Alysia Shellmire matched Zadourian with 17 points.
Sahakian, whose 10 points all came in the first half, left the game early in the fourth quarter with a hip injury. Michelle Tomasian missed a majority of the second half with a knee injury sustained early in the third. Both of the Glendale starters are uncertain for the team’s game against rival Hoover Friday.