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
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,
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.
“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.
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
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
Wesley Woodcock added eight points and Vahram Shalvardzhyan
Hoover’s Ara Mahdessian grabbed seven rebounds and scored seven
Rivera added four points, including a layup that gave Hoover a
three-point lead with a minute left in the fourth.