LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Arada Zakarian was glad to be back. His teammates were happy to see him on the court instead of on the bench.
The Glendale High boys' basketball player returned to the Nitros starting lineup Saturday after missing part of the summer due to an ankle injury.
His return allowed the Nitros to use a fastbreak attack that San Marino could not contain in the final game of the Flintridge Prep Tournament.
Zakarian was one of three Nitros to score nine points — along with Arthur Terzyan and Steve Arakelyan — and Vahe Aristakessian had a game-high 15 points to lead Glendale to a 64-45 victory at Flintridge Prep.
"We saw that they couldn't match up with our speed, so we thought we might as well keep pushing it and pushing it," Zakarian said. "With the coaches having confidence in me, it helps boost my confidence and boosts my teammates' confidence."
The Nitros' speed and athleticism gave them an early 16-2 lead that San Marino had difficulty trimming. The Titans never got closer than 11, as Zakarian, Arakelyan and Aristakessian pushed the pace before sitting out for long portions and allowing the substitutes to maintain the lead.
"With Arada back from an injury, we picked up our speed a little bit," Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress said. "I really liked the effort. We made smart decisions."
The smart decisions led to an easy day.
The Nitros made 14 first-half field goals to San Marino's five. Arakelyan had four field goals in the first half, as Glendale pulled away. Kevin Wang was one of the bright spots for San Marino, finishing with a team-high 15 points, including eight in the first half. Wang was the only Titan to sink more than two field goals. He made seven shots, just as many as the rest of his teammates.
Playing its fourth game in two days, Glendale — which also faced Flintridge Prep, La Canada and St. Francis in the tournament — had an opportunity to provide playing time to most of its substitutes.
"It's what we need," said Snodgress, who also received seven points from Rene Saavedra, six from Daryoush Rahimi and five from Sioun Elieh. "It gives minutes to kids who might not get it. It's fun. The kids can handle it."