Sahakian, Nitros conquer Centurions

BURBANK — In her two years of playing basketball, minor strides have been made by Nina Sahakian on the court.

Before entering her third season with the Glendale High girls' team, Sahakian said she's planning to use the summer to make some major ones. She developed some additional confidence Tuesday afternoon.

Sahakian made two key baskets in the final three minutes to lift Glendale to a 44-36 victory against Saugus in a Burbank Summer League game at Burbank High.

"I'm always trying to learn something new at every practice," said Sahakian, a junior center who finished with 10 points. "The games are just like more practice for me.

"I know that I want to get and become more aggressive. I also want to be able to put up more shots."

Sahakian's two biggest baskets came late in the second half with the Nitros, who didn't qualify for the playoffs last season, clinging to a slim advantage.

Sahakian made a driving shot to give Glendale a 38-34 lead with 2:48 left. On Glendale's next possession, Sahakian grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a layup to extend the Nitros' lead to 40-34 a minute later.

"She's developed and come a long way," Glendale Coach Tania Adary said of Sahakian, who grabbed five rebounds. "We'd like to get her a little stronger.

"If you can get her a good pass, then she can finish."

The Nitros provided ample support for Sahakian. Glendale received a game-high 16 points from senior guard Stella Ghazarian and eight points from senior guard Serah Mirzaeian.

Ghazarian, a reigning All-Pacific League second-team selection after averaging 13.6 points and two assists per game last season, made a bank shot as the 30-second shot clock expired to give Glendale a 43-36 lead with 1:01 left. She then made a pair of free throws with eight seconds remaining to close out the scoring.

The Centurions used a 4-0 run late in the first half to build an 18-17 halftime lead. Then the Nitros regrouped.

The Nitros opened the second half on an 18-7 run to take a 35-25 lead. Keasha Luna scored on a layup to give the Nitros a 35-25 lead with 9:21 left.

"We were trying to switch to a man-to-man and then a zone to see what would work," Adary said. "For a little while, we couldn't even grab a rebound.

"We were then able to get a few fast breaks and that put us back in the game."

Mirzaeian, who averaged 14.3 points and three assists per game last season, had four second-half points. Mirzaeian made two free throws to help Glendale take a 28-23 lead with 12:32 remaining before adding a basket to make it 32-25 with 10:15 left.

Glendale will next play in another Burbank Summer League contest at 3 p.m. Tuesday against Valencia.

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