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Glendale girls’ basketball puts up dominant defensive effort

BURBANK — Ball movement looked effortless for the Glendale High girls’ basketball team in its summer league game against Immaculate Heart on Wednesday at Burbank High.

The Nitros’ defense played a huge part in the squad’s transition success, ending with 12 steals and five blocks that held the Pandas to just four points in the second half.

Glendale’s efforts on both ends of the court in the Burbank Summer League game against Immaculate Heart resulted in a dominant 54-18 victory.

“Summer emphasis is to build on chemistry and build on our defense,” Glendale coach Tadeh Mardirosian said. “Defense is what’s going to lead us into our offense.

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“We worked a lot on ball movement and team chemistry, and as you saw, the team chemistry is there. We have to just polish it and make even it better and better.”

Senior Mary Markaryan led Glendale with 16 points and four steals and Stella Simonyan chipped in with 10 points.

“With the help of our team, we get the ball around faster and make good passes to get quickly down the floor,” Markaryan said. “We try to have that one-person advantage over them, be a little faster, pass the ball and just get one more pass. By getting our teammates open, we get easier looks and more attempts.”

Glendale senior Melissa Zamora added nine points and grabbed nine rebounds to go along with two steals and a block. Areco Orujyan recorded three blocks.

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“It’s stuff that we worked out in practice and we’re just trying to execute what our coaches tell us,” Zamora said. “We’re just trying to push the ball and try to get our teammates open. Even though we were up at the half, we kept pushing it and played like we were down by 10.”

The Nitros’ size and strength played a huge part in their transition game, and as a result, they outrebounded their opponent, 45-14.

“We work very, very hard on physical abilities and core strengths,” Mardirosian said. “Everything is structured out on our defense, so the transitions that you’re seeing starts from our defense into our offense.

“It’s a fairly senior dominant team, which means there’s a lot of leadership. There’s a lot of poise. There’s a lot of strength and mental toughness.”

Markaryan opened the game with a pull-up three-pointer from the left wing. The teams traded baskets until a three-point play from Immaculate Heart cut the Glendale lead to 10-8 with 12:01 in the first half.

Three, consecutive put-backs extended the Nitros’ lead to 16-8 with 9:24 left in the half. Those baskets set Glendale on a 15-2 scoring run that helped establish a 27-14 halftime lead.

“Summer is all an experiment,” said Mardirosian on the transition plays that sparked the scoring run. “We don’t run sets. It’s all an experiment to see what works and what dynamics and combinations work on the offensive end.”

Immaculate Heart scored just twice in the second half, with the first basket scored a minute into the stanza to cut the Glendale lead to 30-16.

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The Pandas scored their second and last basket of the frame at 13:46 in the half to make it a 35-18 deficit. Glendale outscored its opponent, 17-0, to close out the game.

vincent.nguyen@latimes.com

Twitter: @ReporterVince


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