PASADENA — Coming off a strong second quarter, thoughts of an upset began to creep into the minds of the Glendale High girls’ basketball team as it took on host Pasadena in Pacific League play Monday afternoon.
Unfortunately for the visiting Nitros, a 12-point second quarter was followed by a nine-point second half, as Pasadena’s defense rose to the occasion in a 42-29 victory.
“We did a great job for about three quarters and then we let down. We were with Pasadena,” Glendale Coach Tania Adary said. “I don’t know what it was. I don’t want to blame the refs, but the foul count was a little bit on one side. We had a difficult time catching up with that.”
Pasadena (9-7 overall, 2-1 in league) opened the fourth quarter with a five-point lead and eventually extended its advantage to 35-27 after a pair of free throws from junior forward Dariel Johnson, who was fouled by Erlin Keshishzadeh, with 2:20 remaining in the game.
The Nitros grabbed those points back when slashing junior forward Kristineh Zadourian found Nina Sahakian deep in the key with a pass for a four-footer with 1:42 remaining.
Glendale (6-8, 0-3) then initially caught a break when a three-pointer from senior guard Kaymie Johnson rimmed out.
The rebound, however, was corralled by Pasadena senior forward Megan Rutherford, who passed to Kristina Tatikian, who drained a three-pointer with 1:17 left that put Pasadena ahead, 38-29.
That three-pointer was followed by Glendale’s last gasp as Sahakian was blocked by Rutherford about five feet from the basket.
Pasadena rebounded and Glendale began a pattern of fouling, which led to four consecutive points for Pasadena.
“The big difference for us in the fourth quarter is that we settled down,” said Kaymie Johnson, who scored a game-high 13 points. “We limited our mistakes and played our type of basketball.”
Overall, Glendale only scored five points in the fourth, three of which came early as the Nitros sliced into their 27-22 deficit with an inside bucket from Keshishzadeh that was followed by a free throw from Sahakian the next time down that brought the score within 27-25 with 5:51 remaining in the game.
Pasadena, though, responded with an 8-2 run with five of its points coming from the charity stripe.
The Bulldogs led after the first quarter, 11-8.
Yet, Glendale opened the quarter with an impressive 12-0 run capped by a jumper from Keshishzadeh at the 1:56 point in the second that put Glendale ahead, 20-11.
Pasadena, which shot zero for 12 to that point in the quarter, battled back with an inside shot from Rutherford with 39 seconds left and a pivotal three-pointer from Kaymie Johnson that pulled the Bulldogs within four at halftime, down, 20-16.
“It was important to get those points right before the half because we played sloppy in that quarter,” Pasadena Coach Wesley Stewart said. “Glendale is a scrappy team and they made us really fight for this win.
Sahakian led Glendale with 12 points, while Keshishzadeh finished with nine points.
Dariel Johnson scored nine points for Pasadena.