NORTHWEST GLENDALE — Without looking at the final statistics, Glendale High girls’ basketball Coach Tania Adary figured out what went wrong.
There wasn’t much Adary could do while pacing the sideline in front of the team bench.
Glendale relied too often on its three-point shooting, only to see it go cold when it mattered most.
Glendale saw its bid to win the Hoover Tip-Off Classic come to an end after La Cañada posted a 44-34 victory on Friday night.
The Nitros (3-1) advanced to the title contest after picking up victories against North Hollywood, L.A. Marshall and Gardena on consecutive nights. They did so by playing stellar defense, but they met their match against the talented Spartans (4-0).
Glendale scored only 10 second-half points, with nine coming via three-pointers. La Cañada, which reached the tournament game with wins against Calabasas, Hoover and Franklin, mostly gave the Nitros open shots, but Glendale couldn’t take advantage. Glendale missed 12 three-pointers in the second half, and the Spartans rarely had trouble gobbling up the rebounds.
“Offensively, my girls took [the shots], but La Cañada started to spread their defense,” said Adary, whose team owned a 24-22 halftime lead. “We settled for what they gave us, and La Cañada stepped up and rebounded well.
“With this game, we got to see where some people stand. We can now see where we can rotate and where we can’t.”
The Spartans had trouble stopping senior guard Anna Shahinian, who was named to the all-tournament team along with teammate Lidia Rivas. Shahinian had a team-high 14 points, but only one in the second half. She also registered eight rebounds and four assists.
La Cañada got a team-best 11 points from junior guard/forward Courtney McCutchan, who was tabbed the tournament’s most valuable player. Junior guard Tia Chen collected a game-high 10 rebounds and six assists for the Spartans.
The game’s turning point came when La Cañada forward Lora Benedetti picked up a rebound off a missed foul shot and scored on a layup to give the Spartans a 38-34 lead with 3:45 left. Adary called a timeout, but the Nitros didn’t have a response on their ensuing possession.
Glendale senior guard Marlow Tomasian made a three-pointer to give the Nitros a 33-31 lead with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. However, the Spartans outscored the Nitros, 13-1, the rest of the way.
“We discussed how much you learn from a loss than you do a win,” Adary said. “They got a feel for what works and what doesn’t.”