NEWHALL — With 26 seconds remaining, Glendale High senior guard Anthony Tahmazian promptly stepped up and hit a three-pointer that was as much an aberration as it was a clutch, game-tying shot.
Four minutes and 26 seconds later, the Nitros had found a way to emerge from their Hart Tournament clash against LACES with a 50-42 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Hart High.
“We’re fortunate to find a way, but that’s all we did, we found a way to win,” said Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress, whose team improved to 5-6 overall and will play its final game at the Hart tourney today at a time to be determined. “That was a big shot by Anthony.
“We finally got one to drop.”
Glendale made just 17 of 66 shots (26%) on the game, but Tahmazian, who scored 12 points, didn’t hesitate to take a big shot with his team down, 40-37, late in the fourth quarter against the Unicorns (4-10).
“I was confident,” said Tahmazian, who hadn’t scored a point until a second remained in the third quarter, but added on four points in overtime. “I wasn’t thinking about anything, just about the shot to get my team into overtime.”
Junior center David Yetenikyan played an equally crucial role in getting Glendale into overtime and into the win column, scoring 14 points and pulling down 17 rebounds.
Yetenikyan converted a layup off a steal to open the overtime scoring with 2:28 left in the four-minute session, putting Glendale up for good with a 42-40 advantage. The basket was part of a 13-0 run that began with Tahmazian’s game-tying three and ended with a layin by Linden Anderson that put the Nitros up, 50-40.
“We just decided, as a team, to push hard,” Tahmazian said of the overtime surge. “That’s what we did.”
The Unicorns had plenty of shooting problems themselves, hitting 17 of 66 shots (28%), but particularly struggled in overtime, hitting one of eight shots, with their one field goal coming on an uncontested layup at the buzzer.
“Defense stepped up,” Snodgress said. “We actually played fairly smart down the stretch in overtime.”
Between Yetenikyan and Anderson’s layups though, all of the Nitros’ points came on free throws, which proved enough despite shooting just six of 13 from the line in the extra session and 13 of 23 for the game.
"[There was a] cellophane bridge over the rim. I don’t know what was going on. I’ve seen us struggle before, but I’m not sure it’s ever been that ice cold,” said Snodgress, whose team made three of 16 shots in the first quarter and fell behind, 10-9, and then 18-17 at the half. “Not only were we bad from the field, but we didn’t get it done when we finally got opportunities from the line.”
For most of the game, Glendale found itself playing from behind, falling back by a 26-19 margin in the third quarter before a six-point spurt. The Nitros also fell behind, 38-31, in the fourth quarter before back-to-back Yetenikyan layups and a Suren Gyurgchyan layin brought the score to 38-37.
That set the stage for Tahmazian’s clutch shot and the Nitros’ overtime dominance.