GLENDALE — The race for the Pacific League girls' basketball title is wide open and Glendale High can be thanked for making it all happen via a historic win on Wednesday night.
Not since the senior season of current Glendale Coach Tania Adary had the Nitros been able to dethrone a Muir squad that has run roughshod over the league for much of the last decade.
But that all changed on Wednesday at Glendale High, as the Nitros, led by Stella Ghazarian's 17 points, defeated the visiting Mustangs by an emphatic 42-30 margin for the first time since 2000.
"If they're ready to play, they're ready to play," said Adary, whose team improved to 10-6 overall and 2-2 in league. "[The win] was humongous."
Aside from the magnitude of the win for the Glendale program, the victory also puts Muir (10-5) at 3-1 in league and in a first-place tie with Burroughs and Burbank, while Glendale is just a game behind.
"It's kinda up for grabs," said Adary, who earned her first coaching win over Muir in her fifth season at the Nitros helm.
As a senior standout in 2000, Adary was a part of the last Glendale team to beat Muir, grabbing a 38-35 win.
On Wednesday, Ghazarian stepped up to hit three crucial three-pointers in the second half.
Glendale got out to a slim 9-6 lead after the first quarter, but scored 11 of the next 15 points for a commanding 20-10 halftime lead that it maintained in an even third quarter in which the Nitros battled through the Mustangs' aggressive full-court press.
The second quarter proved to be the turning point, as Glendale built a 10-point lead before the second half saw it outscore Muir by a slim 22-20 margin.
The Nitros have now alternated wins and losses since beginning league play with a loss to Pasadena, rebounding with a win against Arcadia, then losing to Burbank on Monday and coming back with a huge win over Muir, the defending league champion and currently the fifth-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division 3AA.
"That's our biggest issue," said Adary of her team's inconsistency.
Glendale, which also got nine points from Serah Mirzaeian and six each from Keasha Luna and Nina Sahakian, will look to hold on to its momentum this time around and knock off a second consecutive first-place opponent when it hosts Burroughs on Friday at 5:15 p.m.