Hoover has its way in victory

SOUTH PASADENA — Though he's only been on the job for a week, Stan Watson is well on his way to formulating plans to tailor the needs of the Hoover High girls' basketball program.

Watson, who recently replaced Martik Ghookasian after previously serving as an assistant coach on the Glendale Community College women's basketball team, and the Tornadoes already accomplished something they were unable to do all of last season — defeat a Pacific League foe.

Watson might have gotten a glimpse of what might be ahead after Hoover picked up a 37-23 victory against Pacific League-rival Pasadena on Monday night at the South Pasadena Summer League at South Pasadena High.

"Right now, it's just about trying to build some chemistry and being able to assess talent," Watson said. "That's important.

"It's going to be important when I start our gameplans on offense and defense. Hopefully, we can build on our strengths."

Hoover, which opened the league with a loss against Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy on June 21 before bouncing back Wednesday to topple Westridge, led throughout against Pasadena.

The Tornadoes, who failed to qualify for the playoffs last season, got two big baskets from senior guard Amatia Golbodaghi to tame the Bulldogs.

Golbodaghi made a running bank shot to end the first half and give Hoover a 17-10 advantage. She then made a three-pointer on Hoover's first possession of the second half to extend the Tornadoes' lead to 20-10.

"She's not afraid to take the tough shots," Watson said. "Her senior leadership is going to be very important.

"She's saying to the others let's help build the program together."

Golbodaghi, one of three Hoover players to finish with seven points, said the buzzer-beating shot ignited the Tornadoes.

"I think that shot pumped us up at the beginning of the second half," said Golbodaghi, who had five second-half points. "I was able to drive in and make the shot.

"I want to be able to get people involved and getting them shooting opportunities. We want to get our post players more involved. [Watson] has got good coaching skills and he's going to let us play."

Hoover also received seven points apiece from Kariz Alberto and Jessica Mkrtchyan.

Alberto made five straight points midway through the second half to give the Tornadoes additional breathing room. She made a three-pointer to give Hoover a 27-12 lead with 10:50 left before making a long-range jump shot to extend the lead to 29-12 80 seconds later.

Alberto's first basket came on a jump shot to give Hoover a 12-8 lead with 6:40 left in the first half. Mkrtchyan hit a three-pointer three minutes later to raise Hoover's lead to 15-8.

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