Nitros end summer with split in tournament

BURBANK ? Now it's time to go on summer vacation.

Vacation started for the Glendale High girls' basketball team as soon as it concluded its 48-44 loss to Montclair Prep on Saturday in the Bellarmine-Jefferson Summer Hoop Finale at Bellarmine-Jefferson High.

The Nitros will get back to work once school starts in the fall, but in the meantime, they'll enjoy their time off.

"[Today] will be the first day that I don't have to do anything basketball related in a long, long time, which is really nice," Glendale Coach Fred Babadjanians said. "Every tournament, every month, we've been going at it non-stop."

His team will have time to think about a summer in which it compiled a 14-13 record.

For the first time in his five years at the helm, Babadjanians said he liked his team's chemistry during the summer. He hopes that translates into more wins come the winter season after Glendale finished a disappointing 8-17 and 1-9 for last place in the Pacific League last year.

"I've seen a sense of urgency," Babadjanians said. "They've been good at building chemistry. There hasn't been this much chemistry in the past.

"It was always about me-me. Now, it's all about us as a team. There is no more individuality."

Babadjanians also saw some areas that he would like to see improved.

"I would like to see us get quicker," he said. "I would like to see them be more consistent. I would like to see more stabilized basketball from them.

"They're really quick to panic and lose their heads."

Glendale almost lost its first game of the day Saturday before defeating Oak Park, 34-28.

The Nitros held a 9-0 lead four minutes into the game before they watched Oak Park storm back to take the lead. Trailing, 14-3, Oak Park went on a 17-4 run to take a lead two minutes into the second half. Glendale eventually regrouped behind senior leaders Melia Basavand and Lara Kadehjian.

"We had a 9-0 lead and we should've kept it," said Basavand, who had a game-high 14 points. "We thought we could beat them easily and we got lazy."

Kadehjian's assist to Alia Ado-Ibrahim provided the go-ahead basket, as the Nitros took a 30-28 lead with under two minutes to play. Kadehjian added a lay-up seconds later to provide a four-point cushion before Basavand closed out the scoring with a pair of free throws.

Glendale's Lidia Rivas added six points.

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