Duo unable to lift Hoover girls' basketball team

SOUTH PASADENA — Preny Sarkissian and Nairi Sevajian did their best in the second half Monday to keep the Hoover High girls' basketball team in the game against Ramona Convent.

In a South Pasadena Summer League contest, Sarkissian made three three-pointers in the second 20-minute period and Sevejian grabbed seven rebounds in the stanza to help the Tornadoes battle back and tie the score in the final minutes against the Tigers.

However, the work of the duo wasn't enough to lift Hoover to victory, as the Tornadoes weren't able to convert their free throws late in the game and that helped Ramona Convent hold on for a 21-19 win.

The Tornadoes made just one of nine free-throw attempts in the second half.

"We have a young team, and we have to get better at making our free throws," said Hoover assistant Lauraine Barakat, was given the opportunity to get some varsity coaching experience by head Coach Stan Watson. "Not making the free throws make it tighter than I should have been."

After struggling with their shooting in he first half, the Tornadoes settled down and played better in the second. Barakat said she attributes her team's uneven play to its youth.

"I think a lot of times in games they start out passive, and toward the end of the game, when they see that they can win, they become more aggressive," she said.

"Also we practice a lot against man defense, and when [Ramona Convent] came out with a zone in the first half that threw us off a little."

Hoover converted just two of its 17 shots from the floor in the first half. Fortunately for the Tornadoes, Ramona Convent wasn't able to take full advantage, as the Tigers held just a 12-7 advantage at the half.

Ramona Convent was able to increase its lead just slightly in the opening minutes of the second half, enjoying a 16-10 advantage following a basket by Catherine Yip with 14 minutes remaining.

Yip led the Tigers with 11 points.

But then Sarkissian (13 points) and Sevajian (11 rebounds) went to work. Sarkissian hit her third three-pointer of the second half with 4:57 remaining to bring Hoover to within one, 19-18. Than, Sevajian converted the only free throw of the stanza to tie the score at 19 with 3:11 left.

"We encourage her to take the open shot when she has it," Barakat said of Sarkisian. "Nairi, who will be a junior, has been playing on the varsity since she was a freshman. She understands how to play and she is one of our more aggressive players."

Hoover had several opportunities to take the lead in the closing two minutes, but three separate shots missed their mark.

Yip broke the tie with a free throw with under a minute remaining. The Tigers added a free throw with 2.9 seconds left.


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