GLENDALE — As the Pacific League girls' basketball season begins to wind down, there's only one team that can claim a victory against first-place Arcadia High, and that's Glendale.
The impressive win over the Apaches came 17 days ago at Arcadia High.
The two teams met again Monday night at Glendale, and the result was a season split, as the Apaches showed crisp offense and potent defense en route to a 53-43 victory.
“We knew they were going to come out ready to go,” said Nitros Coach Tania Adary, whose squad fell to 5-5 in league and 12-9 overall. “We were anticipating that. We weren’t anticipating them blowing it open that quickly.”
The Nitros came out sluggish, allowing 50% shooting in the first quarter, while making just one field goal on 10 attempts and trailed, 14-3, after eight minutes.
Glendale turned up the intensity in the second quarter, holding the Apaches (19-3, 9-1) to nine field goal attempts and four turnovers. Unfortunately for the Nitros, they were unable to cut into the deficit as both teams scored 12 points in the frame.
Arcadia’s Melody Chang led the team with 10 first-half points and set the tone as the point guard, running an offense that shot 10 of 21 through two quarters.
The good shooting continued into the third as the Apaches made eight of 13 field goals and outscored the Nitros by eight in the quarter and held a comfortable 45-26 lead with eight minutes remaining.
Glendale went on a 12-4 run in the fourth and cut the Arcadia lead down to 49-38 with just under two minutes to play. Ultimately, the Apaches held off the Nitros at the charity stripe and avenged their only loss in league play.
“The first time around, we didn’t play particularly well and were overconfident,” Arcadia Coach Don Young said. “Glendale is always a well-coached team. It put us in a position to have to win the rest of our games to win the league. We came out more focused this time.”
Despite never letting up, Adary said she expected her squad to show more spunk against the Apaches.
“We should be a little more confident after beating them on their home court,” she said. “We were missing a lot of layups, though — a lot of missed shots, a lot of turnovers.”
Kristina Sahakian led the Nitros with 15 points. Erlin Keshishzadeh followed with nine and Tara Abdul Ahad added five.
Chang led all scorers with 17. Caira Benton complemented well with 15 points.
“Usually, Melody [Chang] takes a bulk of the shots, but she was able to distribute the ball today and find open looks for everyone,” Young said. “Different girls hit open shots.”
Arcadia, which came into the game Monday night tied for first place with Burroughs, will host Pasadena Wednesday. Glendale continues a brutal three-game stretch at Burbank.
“Tough week coming up,” Adary said. “We just have to be prepared and play four quarters and not one or two quarters like how we have been.”