Mustangs' run leaves Nitros behind

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Scoring runs are prevalent in the game of basketball, but some are just more damaging than others.

For the Glendale High boys' basketball team, two scoring runs by Muir ultimately had a lot to do with the Nitros going home with a fourth-place showing after falling to the Mustangs, 63-52, in the third-place game of the La Cañada Tournament on Saturday night.

The Nitros only trailed by three and were very much in the game early in the fourth quarter. But after Anthony Tahmazian hit two free throws to make the score 47-44, the Mustangs (4-2) proceeded to go on a 10-0 run.

In a matter of three minutes, the game went from tightly contested to being comfortably in Muir's favor.

"We never did recover from that three-minute stretch," Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress said.

Glendale (2-4) had control of the game early, until Muir went on an 11-0 run in the second quarter that put them up 24-18.

The Nitros played from behind from there on. Tahmazian's two free throws that cut the lead to three would be the closest Glendale got to a tie ballgame.

Muir took its lead on its second-quarter scoring run and used that momentum to build the lead until it put the game away on the aforementioned 10-0 run when it got a little too close for comfort.

"We had control on our side for most of the game," Muir Coach Gamal Smalley said. "Things get a lot easier when you're the one holding the lead."

The Nitros had a run of their own, scoring eight unanswered points in the first quarter to take a 12-4 lead. They couldn't finish strong though, letting the Mustangs go on a 9-2 run to finish out the first eight minutes.

The Nitros relinquished the lead soon after to a Muir squad that had a balanced scoring attack with Deshawn Hayes leading the way with 14 points, and Jelani Mitchell adding eight.

Mustangs point guard Justin Knowles was perfect at the free-throw line, going six for six in the waning stages and keeping Glendale's hopes of a comeback at bay.

Tahmazian scored 13 of his game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter, doing his best to keep the Nitros alive. Unfortunately for Glendale, only Suren Gyurgchyan aided in the scoring department in the final eight minutes.

Still, the Nitros coach is optimistic about his team going forward.

"We played hard, and we played well at times," Snodgress said. "I think we're going in the right direction."

Glendale's Linden Anderson put in 10 points. Gyurgchyan also had 10 points with two coming off of steals he created.

"Suren had a great week, and he played well again for us tonight," Snodgress said.

Meanwhile, David Yetenikyan earned all-tournament honors.

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