NORTHWEST GLENDALE — Having lost five straight games, all in league play, the Hoover High boys' basketball team looked to reenergize itself when it met its cross-town rival Friday night.
Thanks to some clutch shooting following long possessions, Hoover found a way to end its skid by dictating the flow of the game and leaving Glendale confused.
Hoover got a game-high 11 points from Kyle Bernardo and nine rebounds from Adeh Navasartian to notch a 42-34 Pacific League win against visiting Glendale.
"We talked the whole week about how we needed more energy, like we had the first part of the season," said Bernardo, who took a charging foul late in the fourth quarter and was removed from the game for precautionary reasons after he hit his head on the floor. "We needed to find a way to get back on track and we still have seven games left to try to make a move for the playoffs.
"We just had to relax and go possession by possession."
Hoover improved to 8-12, 2-5 in league. Glendale, which swept last year's season series, dropped to 8-11, 3-4 and will meet Hoover at home Feb. 9.
The Tornadoes held a 24-15 halftime advantage and extended the lead to 30-15 on a basket by Bernardo with 4:01 remaining in the third quarter. Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress called a full timeout and the Nitros then began to slowly chip away at Hoover's sizable lead.
The Nitros closed out the quarter on an 8-0 run to pull to within 30-23. Glendale's Sevan Pogosyan made a jump shot to bring the Nitros to within 30-27 at the 6:59 mark of the fourth quarter, but the Tornadoes then went on a 5-0 run, capped by a Bernardo layup, to extend the lead to 35-27 with 5:43 remaining.
Glendale's run fell short, however.
"It was a combination of things," said Snodgress, who received 10 points from Pogosyan and 17 rebounds and eight points from David Yetenikyan. "I thought we were tight and we short-armed a lot of shots that we normally don't.
"Hoover controlled the tempo of the game and they played a perfect first half. They just played better than we did."
Hoover Coach Jack Van Patten said he expected Glendale to mount a comeback bid.
"We knew they'd get a run somewhere and they are good offensively," Van Patten said. "We controlled the pace to our liking for most of the game by being able to grind out our possessions and that's something we have to do a good job at.
"We like playing that way. We only had three turnovers in the first half. The longer the possessions, the more things worked in our possession."
The Tornadoes held an 11-6 lead after the first quarter. A three-point play by Yetenikyan made it 11-11 with 6:37 left in the second quarter. Hoover then went on an 11-3 run to close out the opening half.
Hoover received six points apiece from Navasartian and Nareg Essagholian.
Glendale and Hoover will begin the second half of league at 5 p.m. Monday. Glendale will meet visiting Crescenta Valley and Hoover will compete at Burroughs.