LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Simply put, the Glendale High boys' basketball team didn't hit the panic button when seemingly spiraling out of control Monday night.
The Nitros found themselves in a deep hole early against the St. Francis in a pool-play game of the La Cañada Holiday Classic at La Cañada High. Then, Glendale regrouped, thanks to a big effort from its budding center.
David Yetenikyan finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and a pair of blocks to help rally Glendale to a 61-53 victory.
The Nitros (2-3) trailed, 19-4, at the end of the first quarter. In fact, Glendale, which won its second game in a row, trailed, 13-0, just past the midway point of the opening stanza.
"Nobody pointed fingers when we were down in the first quarter," said the 6-5 Yetenikyan, who blocked both of his shots in the final three seconds of the third quarter. "We started hitting shots in the second quarter and things started to go our way.
"[Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress] said to keep shooting and the ball would go in the net."
Judging by the way St. Francis (3-3) played in the first quarter, the Golden Knights, ranked No. 13 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA, appeared to have an easy night ahead of them.
Not so fast, St. Francis co-Coach Ray O'Brien said.
"Glendale came out with not much intensity," said O'Brien, who saw Golden Knights guard Emerson Castaneda finish with a game-high 25 points. "We were aggressive in the first quarter and then they were aggressive and we became passive.
"They played good defense and we shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times."
Glendale got a three-pointer from Yetenikyan to give the nitros a 34-30 lead with 1:47 left in the third quarter.
Both teams will return to action in pool-play game Wednesday. Glendale will take on Schurr at 3 p.m. and St. Francis will meet Bonita at 6.