Nitros come alive in second half

BURBANK — Glendale High's girls' basketball team's offense struggled mightily at the onset Tuesday in the consolation bracket of the 2011 West Coast Holiday Festival Gold Bracket.

But the Nitros followed up a less than stellar first half in which they scored just 13 points on only five field goals with a second half that saw the team shoot 50% from the field en route to a 43-35 victory over Calabasas at Bellarmine-Jefferson High School.

"At halftime, we talked about moving the ball around until we get a good shot, and that's what we did," said Nitros Coach Tania Adary whose squad will face Chatsworth tonight in their third game of the tournament.

Glendale (4-4) scored 16 points in the third quarter — three more than their output in the first two quarters — but also gave up 16 as the two teams carried over the tie ballgame at halftime into the fourth quarter.

It was in the fourth quarter that the Nitros defense picked up, forcing the Coyotes to shoot two for 13 and commit four turnovers. In contrast, Glendale shot six for 14. A 5-1 run to start the frame was the difference, as the Nitros never trailed in the quarter.

Adary picked up a technical foul early in the third quarter. Calabasas junior Jaclyn Goodman made one of two technical free throws to give the Coyotes an 18-17 lead, but the Nitros made sure their coach knew the team heard her. Kris Zadourian tied the game at 19 on the ensuing possession.

Tara Abdul connected on a three-point basket the next time down and the lead would not change hands from that point.

Still, the Coyotes kept it close. Goodman's offensive rebound and putback at the buzzer tied the score at 29. Calabasas scored at the buzzer in each of the four quarters, twice tying the score and once taking the lead. Most important for the Nitros, however, was that Calabasas' basket as time expired in the game had no significance.

After the game, Adary praised her team's fourth-quarter defense.

"I was hoping we wouldn't give up double-digit points in the third quarter, but luckily we scored with them," said Adary, whose team ended a two-game skid. "We played good defense in the fourth quarter, only giving up six points."

Erlin Keshishzadeh scored 11 of her team-high 13 points in the second half, when the Nitros shot 11 of 22.

Nina Sahakian added seven points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Zadourian also finished with seven.

Goodman had a game-high 16 points.

The Nitros begin Pacific League play at home against Crescenta Valley Jan. 3 making the tournament at Bell-Jeff the final non-league tournament of the season.

"We're going to use the next few games to prepare for that," said Adary, who coached the Nitros to a 6-8 Pacific League record last year, good for a fourth-place tie and a playoff berth.

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