NORTHWEST GLENDALE — Derenik Kaloosi couldn’t have scripted a better way to cap his three-year varsity career with the Glendale High boys’ basketball team.
Though the Nitros won’t be taking part in the upcoming playoffs, at least the starting center made sure the Nitros ended their season on a winning note.
Kaloosi made a fadeaway jump shot with 28 seconds left in overtime to propel visiting Glendale to a 47-46 victory against cross-town rival Hoover on Thursday night in the teams’ Pacific League finale.
Glendale ended its season at 10-16 and 4-10 in league, a season after qualifying for the postseason. Kaloosi at least temporarily took some sting out of the Nitros not being able to prolong their season.
“It’s an awesome way to end the season,” said Kaloosi, who finished with a game-high 18 points and team-high eight rebounds. Glendale completed the two-game season series sweep against Hoover (5-21, 0-14). The Tornadoes had a shot to tie the game Thursday night, but an open-look jump shot by Rei Fernandez hit the back of the rim and bounced away.
That’s the way it went throughout most of league — and the season — for the Tornadoes, who also qualified for the postseason last year.
“I really couldn’t ask for anything more from my guys,” Hoover Coach Henrik Sardarbegian said. “Basketball is a lot like life. Sometimes you go a direction that you necessarily don’t want to. Our last three or four games have come down to the last couple of shots.”
Hoover sent the game into overtime on a layup by Rene Karamian with 13 seconds left. Hoover grabbed a 46-45 lead on a layup by Samson Injigulyan with 55 seconds remaining in overtime before Kaloosi made the game-winning basket.
Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress, whose team picked up a 48-44 victory against Hoover on Jan. 23 at Glendale, said the Nitros wanted to get Kaloosi involved on their last possession of the game.
“We ran an out-of-bounds play so we could isolate Derenik,” said Snodgress, who got 11 points, seven rebounds and a game-high five assists from senior guard David Mansuryan. “Then he was able to execute by hitting a nice fadeaway.
“We’ve struggled quite a bit after we lost [Dion Dehbanian and Artur Harutyunyan] to season-ending injuries. It feels good to go out on a winning note. Hoover played real hard and they’ve had some bad breaks and that game could have easily been theirs.”
Hoover got 12 points and nine rebounds from Injigulyan.