BURBANK — Losses in its first two games of the season meant the Glendale High boys’ basketball team would have no shot at playing in the championship round of the Bulldog Tip-Off Classic at Burbank today.
But that fact didn’t dissuade the Nitros from putting together a respectable curtain call in their final two games of the tournament — an overtime win against Arcadia on Thursday and a sound 58-34 beating of Roosevelt on Friday.
“We played well [Thursday] night in a tough game and we played well again [Friday],” Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress said. “All in all, we’ve got a lot of things to work on, but it was a good game [Friday].”
Senior forward Derenik Kaloosi scored 15 of his game-high 22 points in the first half to help a defensive-minded Glendale squad build a 32-14 halftime lead.
Holding the Rough Riders to just seven points in the third quarter, as well, the Nitros made up for a lesser offensive output in the second half by clamping down on Roosevelt’s attempts to rally.
“Defense was the key,” said Kaloosi, who finished with 10 rebounds. “The past two games, we went into the half with at least a 10-point lead, and then we gave it up in the third quarter, so it was important to keep the lead.”
Glendale led the entire game and only let Roosevelt get close once, at 9-7, on a 5-0 run with 1:31 left in the first quarter.
From there, the Nitros answered with a three-pointer from the wing by Andrew Snodgress and a three by Kaloosi at the quarter buzzer for a 15-9 lead.
Kaloosi opened scoring in the second quarter with a quick layup off an inbound pass from senior guard David Mansuryan (11 points, five assists) before Mansuryan finished off a break on the Nitros’ next possession for a 19-9 lead.
With 4:30 left in the first half, Kaloosi, who was four for six from beyond the arc, sank a deep three to put Glendale back up by double digits, 24-13.
After a three-pointer by Dion Dehbanian (nine points) at the 3:41 mark, Mansuryan continued the 8-1 run down the stretch with a three-pointer and a layup within the last two minutes of the half.
“Derenik has really played welI. ...I was happy with how well he shared the ball, too,” said Snodgress, whose team recorded 18 assists. “We had that beautiful balance of getting the ball to the guy we’ve got to get it to, but he played a team game at the same time.”
Glendale (2-2) had good balance, not only on offense, with seven players cracking the scoring column, but also on defense.
The Nitros recorded 10 steals, led by Eddie Nersisyan (four assists, two blocks) with four, between six players.
“Tonight we came out and really had an active attitude on the defensive end,” Snodgress said. “We had five guys dig in and work hard as a team, getting in some lanes and causing some problems.
“That’s who we have to be — we’re not real big and we have to be willing to defend better than we had earlier in the week.”