Nitros finish off Titans

SAN MARINO — It looked to be anything but a rout until the Glendale High boys' water polo team buckled down against San Marino on Tuesday afternoon.

In less than five minutes, a close match turned into a blowout and left third-year Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook impressed with the way his Nitros played defense and capitalized with some counter-attacks that directly led to goals.

"We ran a press that allowed us to get some counter-attacks," Holbrook said after Glendale picked up a 21-5 nonleague road win against San Marino. "In a game like this, you try to see what your strengths are and what you need to work on."

San Marino closed to within 6-3 on a goal by Alex Kang with 6:13 left in the second quarter. Glendale (3-2-1) then went to work, scoring eight goals in a row in less than five minutes to make it 14-3.

The Titans (2-5) never recovered, as five of Glendale's goals in that stretch came off counter-attacks. Shant Tokatyan and Manuk Piloyan each scored two goals in the run for the Nitros, ranked No. 5 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division V poll behind Pasadena Poly, La Serna, Bonita and Palm Desert.

"We have a pretty young team and we played them pretty well until the middle of the second quarter," San Marino first-year Coach Mark Barr said. "We have to be encouraged with the way we played.

"We had our chances. We'll get better."

Glendale's defensive unit of Tokatyan, Martin Chatalyan and Armand Momdzhyan put the clamps on the Titans, who either were forced to take long-distance shots or committed turnovers in the middle of the pool that led to Glendale's strong transition game. The Nitros limited the Titans to a pair of second-half goals.

Glendale got a team-best five goals from Piloyan and four from Trevor Fritz. Momdzhyan and Tokatyan each contributed three goals for the Nitros, who received two goals apiece from Chatalyan and David Grigorian. Artak Arzumanyan and David Papazian scored one goal each for the Nitros.

"It's a solid win," Holbrook said. "I'm satisfied with where we are so far.

"We've got a long way to go, but it's an easy team to coach because they have good attitudes."

San Marino received a team-high three goals from Kang and one apiece from Thomas Rogers and Alex Huang.

"They have a physical team and some of our players are not used to that," Barr said. "We will find out who we are and play to our strengths."

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