Glendale bests Hoover again

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Long before the Glendale High girls' basketball team competed against cross-town rival Hoover on Thursday night, a decision had been made.

Whether or not the host Nitros defeated the Tornadoes in a Pacific League contest, Glendale Coach Tania Adary said Glendale would not petition for an at-large berth in the playoffs next week.

"I had a long conversation with the players and coaches that we would not petition for the playoffs because of a personal reason," Adary said after Glendale picked up a 46-43 win Thursday. "It's just something we decided not to do."

Adary's team finished at 10-15, 4-10 in league for seventh-place in the eight-team league.

Hoover (3-17, 0-14) held its own against Glendale through three quarters. The Tornadoes, who got 23 points and seven steals from Kariz Alberto, held a 35-32 lead going into the fourth quarter, but Glendale took charge and completed the two-game season series sweep of Hoover.

The Nitros, who posted a 37-24 victory in the first game against Hoover on Jan. 20, started the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run. Glendale took the lead for good when Nina Sahakian made a short jump shot to make it 36-35 with 5:33 left. On Hoover's ensuing possession, Sakakian landed on the floor awkwardly and suffered what appeared to be a right-foot injury.

A three-pointer by Tara Abdul-Ahad gave the Nitros a 41-35 lead with 2:55 remaining.

Hoover finally scored in the final quarter when Preny Sarkissian dribbled down the left side and made a three-pointer to bring the Tornadoes to within 42-38 with 1:52 left.

Glendale received 11 points from Kris Zadourian, including eight in the second half. Erlin Keshishzadeh added 10 points and four assists for the Nitros.

"We expected a battle and we knew Hoover would come out because it's a rival game," said Adary, whose team reached the playoffs last season. "Everybody played well for us.

"We made a few big shots in the fourth quarter."

Hoover second-year Coach Stan Watson said the Tornadoes showed marked improvement after going winless last season.

"We had a younger team, but they always played hard," said Watson, who got nine points and three blocks from Allison Zalin. "Unfortunately, we had no league wins, but Hoover is a building program.

"Kariz had a great season and gave us everything that she had and I'm proud of Allison, too."

Alberto had 13 first-half points, including a bank shot just as time expired in the first half to give the Tornadoes a 27-25 lead.

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