PASADENA — A strong first half put the Glendale High boys' basketball team in a position where all it needed to do to secure victory was keep Flintridge Prep from cutting too deeply into its double-digit lead during the second half on Thursday in Maranatha Summer League action.
Behind 14 points apiece from Arada Zakarian and Sevan Torosyan and 12 points, 17 rebounds and four assists from David Yetenikyan, the Nitros held off every attempt by the Rebels to get back into the game and ended the contest on another scoring tear to notch an 81-65 win.
"We didn't go dead offensively and, when they extended the defense a little bit, we found some opportunity," Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress said. "We gave up a few more than we like to in the second half, but we kept scoring and it seemed like the more pressure they gave us, the more opportunity we created."
Prep, which won the CIF Southern Section Division 5-AA title in March, trailed by 13 at the half and got the deficit down to 10 going into the fourth quarter. But Yetenikyan scored two quick baskets — a layup on a cut down the middle, followed by a putback in transition — to bolster the lead back to 63-48 with 5:29 to play.
The Rebels then made their strongest run of the second half. Jedrick Eugenio sank a three-pointer and then came up with a steal in the backcourt that led to an easy layup for Robert Cartwright, who led Prep with 30 points. Glendale turned the ball over on its next possession, as well, and Eugenio made the Nitros pay with another three ball to cut the lead to 63-56.
Yetenikyan took quick measures to make sure Prep would get no closer. At the 4:40 mark, he used a baseline spin move to get the basket, where he finished a three-point play. Mike Perry continued the run for Glendale with a layup and Yetenikyan scored the next four Nitros points himself to push the lead to 73-59 with 3:00 left.
"David is just absolutely essential for us," Snodgress said. "He has that ability as a leader to really help us in every category. You'll see him handling the ball more this year, you'll see him directing traffic defensively. He just [provides] a lot of leadership for us in one package."
The game remained dead even through the end of the first quarter before Glendale went on a 20-8 run over the first seven minutes of the second quarter, fueled by eight points from Torosyan.
"We gave up too many layups on our end — they were running down the court a lot harder than we were," said Prep assistant coach Rudy Bojorquez, who coached the team in place of Garrett Ohara, who was on vacation. "When we did [run the court] we made nice runs and when we didn't, they got easy layups."
Prep, which lost three starters to graduation including All-Area Player of the Year Kenyatta Smith, got 12 points from Eugenio and 10 from Kareem Ismail.
"They're trying to get into their roles, they're also trying to feel with the veteran players where they fit," Bojorquez said. "They're all learning to play with each other right now."