Glendale comeback stalls out versus La Cañada Basketball: Nitros boys can¿t complete rally against Spartans.

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Jack Anderson got the La Cañada High boys’ basketball team off to a hot start on Friday when he made his first five shots from the field.The Spartans forward was there at the end, too, to help ward off a second-half rally from Glendale on the first day of the Flintridge Prep Basketball Tournament.Anderson (19 points) made two big shots in the final two minutes, driving to the hole to bolster the Spartans’ lead to five points with 1:40 to play before scoring in transition off a Nitros miss to seal the 49-44 win despite a game-high 23 points from Glendale’s Vahe Aristakessian.“We just kept on executing and we got good shots and we made them,” said Anderson, whose team beat St. Francis in an earlier tournament game on Friday. “We shot terrible our first game. We won [that game], but we shot a lot better this game.”Glendale trailed by one at halftime and saw the Spartans push their lead as high as 42-33 on a layup by Koko Kurdoghlian (seven points) with eight minutes left in the game.The Nitros responded in a timely way with an 8-1 run over the next four minutes, capped by a three-point continuation play by Aristakessian to make it 43-41 in favor of La Cañada.After Anderson’s score with 1:40 left, Glendale’s Arthur Terzyan (eight points) sank a clutch pair of free throws to keep it a one-possession game. Glendale would get the ball right back still down by three, but La Cañada’s defense forced a miss and Anderson was able to counter with a quick bucket.“We didn’t close out a couple times, which gave La Cañada their lead,” Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress said. “You’ve got to get out on the perimeter against La Cañada, they’re always going to shoot the ball well.“Then we were late showing on defense and guys turned the corner on us. It was a good combination for them, but I thought that was kind of the difference.”La Cañada jumped out to a 5-0 lead after Glendale turned the ball over on its first two possessions, a sign of things to come as the Nitros would finish with 17 turnovers.But the first half would be very close throughout with the lead changing hands several times.Aristakessian made a three-pointer for a 24-21 lead with three minutes left in the half, but the Spartans responded with a 4-0 run to take a 25-24 lead on a putback with 20 seconds left.“It’s one of those even games where the team that made the last little bit of a run was probably going to win the game,” Spartans Coach Tom Hofman said. “I think if we play each other 10 times, we’ll be 5-5, we’re two pretty equal teams. Both of us have new players and we’re trying to figure out a system that’s going to work. Defensively we’re both trying to get a little bit better.”

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