NORTHWEST GLENDALE — In one of the few parts of what has become a rather chaotic Pacific League playoff chase that it had direct control over, the Glendale High boys' basketball team took care of business on Thursday night, defeating Hoover, 59-46.
Now, Steve Snodgress will simply hope to wake up feeling lucky today. The veteran Nitros basketball coach will begin his day at Crescenta Valley High, where a coin flip is set for 7:30 a.m. to break the three-way tie for third place in league that Glendale currently shares with Muir and Burbank.
Should Muir win the odd-man-wins flip, it will finish third and the Bulldogs and Nitros will play a game for fourth place today, while a win for Burbank or Glendale, who are both in CIF Southern Section Division 2AA, would see that team take third place and the other and Muir both enter the playoffs as fourth-place teams since Muir plays in Division 5AA.
Burbank is also reportedly being investigated by CIF for an eligibility violation, which could result in a forfeit of its league wins, further complicating things.
"We had to win tonight," Snodgress said. "We anticipated a difficult game and that's what we got."
The Nitros (12-14, 7-7 in league) will have little time to reflect on an exciting win Thursday, in which a back-and-forth final quarter followed a clunker of a first half.
After scoring seven points in the first half, and only one in the second quarter, and trailing by 15 at the half, the Tornadoes (6-19, 2-12) rallied to come within one possession with 2:20 left in the game.
"We just decided we had to come out for our last game and push it out, no regrets," said Hoover's Aden Ziraki, who scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of free throws to cut the Nitros' lead to 49-46 with 2:20 left. "Honestly, I thought we were coming home with a victory."
Hoover had the ball down four with 2:00 to go, when a loose ball bounced to Nitros forward Linden Anderson, who raced the other way to the basket and finished a three-point play for a 53-46 lead. Anderson had nine points.
From there, Anthony Tahmazian, who scored all but two of his 16 points in the fourth, put the game away with a fadeaway on the baseline and a breakaway finish on consecutive possessions.
"We didn't want to lose the lead so we started playing good," Tahmazian said. "We ran our offense and did whatever we had to do to score."
Hoover, which went on a 17-4 run in the fourth quarter to get back in the game, got 16 points from Kyle Bernardo, who hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to three with 38 seconds left in the third.
David Yetenikyan scored 15 points and had seven rebounds and two blocks for Glendale.