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Tornadoes barely triumph

Edgar Melik-Stepanyan

On a day when an intense rivalry lived up to its billing, when

Glendale High picked an inopportune time to have a poor shooting

outing and when Hoover’s Armen Baghdasarian took care of the

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offensive scoring load in place of foul-prone Chris Rivera, the

Tornadoes continued to impress with their play.

Hoover kept its cool in a stressful late-game situation, moments

after Glendale had a mental meltdown, to defeat the visiting Nitros,

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39-34, on Tuesday in a Hoover High Summer League game.

With the Tornadoes leading, 37-34, Servet Iyigun stepped to the

free-throw line, poised to tie the score after Baghdasarian fouled

him on a three-point attempt.

But as Iyigun, who had just four points, gathered the ball, his

teammate, Eddie Vega, left his free-throw block to talk to Glendale

Coach Steve Snodgress, resulting in a violation with 10 seconds left

in the contest.

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“In a Glendale-Hoover game, you never know what’s going to

happen,” Tornado Coach Kirt Kohlmeier said.

Iyigun missed the remaining two free throws and Baghdasarian

calmly sank two free throws at the other end to ice the game.

“We made some real silly mental mistakes,” Snodgress said.

Several of those miscues included taking ill-advised shots.

Glendale (9-7) was three of 19 (15.8%) from three-point territory and

10 of 38 (26.3%) from the field.

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In the absence of Rivera -- who picked up his fourth foul with

nine minutes to play in the third quarter -- for the majority of the

second half, Baghdasarian continued to establish himself as the floor

leader of a sometimes erratic offense.

He was the only Tornado to finish in double figurers, scoring a

game-high 21 points, 10 in the second half.

“I need Armen to be a leader on the floor and bring experience,”

said Kohlmeier, whose squad has won five out of its past six games.

Said Snodgress: “Once [Baghdasarian] gets it going, he’s a threat.

We knew he was one of the guys we had to limit, but we let him go too

much.”

A once spiraling Tornado defense that repeatedly allowed easy

baskets and blew leads has quietly resurged into an aggressive group.

The Tornadoes (12-9) didn’t allow a field goal for more than 12

minutes and forced Glendale to miss nine consecutive shots, as they

went on a 12-4 run from the end of the first quarter to the beginning

of the third.

Glendale, which trailed by as much as nine, cut the lead to just

three with five minutes to play in the third quarter, but

Baghdasarian answered the challenge by making one of his three

three-pointers on the next possession.

Tony Munoz led the Nitros with 11 points, seven in the second

half.

Wesley Woodcock added eight points and Vahram Shalvardzhyan

contributed five.

Hoover’s Ara Mahdessian grabbed seven rebounds and scored seven

points.

Rivera added four points, including a layup that gave Hoover a

three-point lead with a minute left in the fourth.


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