NORTHWEST GLENDALE — After reaching its zenith with a victory against its cross-town rival, the Hoover High boys' basketball team has since encountered another rough patch.
Already ailing with the absence of Kyle Bernardo (concussion and toe injury) from the lineup, the Tornadoes looked to mount a strong second half in the Pacific League this week. It hasn't materialized.
Hoover fell behind early and couldn't overcome a large first-quarter deficit en route to a 56-52 league home loss against Arcadia on Wednesday night.
Even with the first-quarter struggles, Hoover (8-14, 2-7 in league) had plenty of chances to get back into the contest. However, four fourth-quarter turnovers derailed the comeback bid and paved the way for back-to-back league defeats against Burroughs and Arcadia after recording a win against Glendale on Friday.
"We've had a couple of bad breaks in our last two games," said Hoover Coach Jack Van Patten, whose team fell, 68-65, in double-overtime to Burroughs on Monday. "Arcadia shot the ball well in the first quarter and we fell behind.
"We couldn't make some shots in the first quarter and we couldn't make that big shot or play to get us over the hump. We played better to get back into it in the second quarter, but we didn't take advantage of any opportunities that we had in the fourth quarter."
Arcadia (10-11, 3-6) used a 16-0 run in the first quarter to take an 18-4 lead. Hoover regained its composure in the second quarter, outscoring Arcadia, 22-11, to close to within 29-26 at halftime.
Hoover's struggles appeared again in the third quarter. The Tornadoes could muster only six points and trailed, 43-32, after the period. The Apaches, who swept the two-game season series against the Tornadoes, began the second half with a 10-2 run to extend their lead to 39-28.
"Arcadia was just strong physically," said Hoover junior guard Jashley Francisco, who finished with a team-high 18 points. "We got off to the slow start and then we were able to recover.
"Then they go on that run in the third quarter. It's a game of runs."
The Tornadoes cut the Apaches' lead to 47-40 on a layup by senior guard Adeh Navasartian with 4:41 left in the fourth quarter.
Over the next two minutes, with the score still 47-40, Hoover had several golden opportunities to further cut into Arcadia's lead. Two missed layups and two turnovers squelched the possibility of a comeback.
"We got a little tired and sloppy in the end," Francisco said.
Arcadia received 18 points from senior guard Taylor Lagace. Lagace notched 12 second-half points.
Hoover got eight points apiece from Navasartian, junior guard Ryan Barsegian and junior forward Ando Adjemian.
Van Patten, whose team has lost nine of its last 11 games, said it wasn't clear when Bernardo would return. Bernardo, a senior guard, suffered a concussion against Glendale.