BURBANK — It was a strong start to the second half of a Burbank Summer League girls’ basketball game for Glendale High.
The Nitros created a 10-point cushion against Hart nearly two minutes into the half. But as shots failed to fall for Glendale, the Indians took advantage.
Hart cut the lead to one point with a scoring run, but Glendale responded to restore its double-digit lead and propel it to a 48-43 win in a Burbank Summer League contest at Burbank High on Wednesday.
“It’s more than just winning games,” Glendale coach Tadeh Mardirosian said. “It’s about the journey to being a successful team and a successful program by respecting one another and leading one another to be better.”
Glendale was without key player Mary Markaryan, but was led by junior Arpa Baroni and senior Melissa Zamora. The duo combined to score nine unanswered points midway in the second half to give Glendale a 45-35 lead.
“We just kept our energy from the first half,” Zamora said. “We’re down a player, but that didn’t stop us from pushing the ball up. Summer is just to learn from and to make all the mistakes.”
With three minutes remaining in the first half, the Nitros held a 25-16 lead.
Glendale’s final points of the first half came from a drive to the basket before Hart scored five straight points to cut the Nitros lead to 27-24 at halftime.
“I always want to play good-quality teams,” Mardirosian said. “The wins and losses during the summer mean nothing to me. I just want to competitive teams to know how to navigate through the adversity, the differences and the shooting styles.”
The Nitros’ energy at the beginning of the second half set up a 36-26 lead at the 17:53 mark.
However, Glendale started to turn the ball over and its offense would run cold for seven minutes, 26 seconds. Meanwhile, Hart embarked on a 9-0 run to slice the Nitros’ lead to 36-35 with 10:38 left.
“We learned from our mistakes and tried to hold each other accountable, making sure not to repeat what’s been done,” Baroni said. “We’re learning from our strengths and weaknesses so when league comes, then we know what works best for each other.”
Zamora’s put-back basket 11 seconds later ended the Nitros’ scoring drought and set up a Glendale 9-0 run. Baroni followed with a three-pointer and a layup and another put-back from Zamora restored the Nitros’ double-digit lead at 45-35 with 4:23 remaining.
“When you are more of a mature team, a couple of big threes doesn’t faze you. You just play the next play,” Mardirosian said. “That’s what we’ve been trying to coach and teach, where you just have to play the next play and play the next whistle.
“It’s really rewarding as a coach to see that your team is moving ahead more and more to be so confident in each teammate.”
Despite Hart’s strong effort on the offensive glass in the second half, out-rebounding Glendale, 10-2, on the offensive end, the Indians saw their shot attempts bounce off the rim time and time again in the second half. The Indians failed to score a field goal for 8:27 in the second half after their 9-0 run.
“Our key focus today was our defense and boxing out,” said Mardirosian, whose Nitros fought off the Indians on the defensive boards, 11-8. “I thought we did a good job with that. Our girls are taking ownership of valuing the ball. The ball is golden to us, so the more possessions we get, the higher chance we have to win.
“Baroni had an outstanding offensive game hitting some key threes and leading us on the breaks. Our bigs are still learning how to play well and it’s fun. It’s a really good summer for us.”