GLENDALE — The Glendale High summer league boys’ basketball squad played in its second game of the day as part of the Glendale College Vaquero Summer Classic Varsity Showcase against Grant, a team that had beaten it the night before.
Glendale found itself trailing by nine early in the second half, but instead of settling into defeat, it worked its way back for a 60-57 win led by Eddie Uluchyn’s playmaking and clutch shooting.
“I think we were out-quicked in the first half. We have some guys that have to learn to move laterally and also want to get stops individually and collectively,” Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress said. “In this second half, I thought we cared a little more about getting down and doing some work that way. I think that leads to a little bit of offense and we played just well enough.”
Glendale trailed by seven at the half and fought back to briefly take the lead, but with just under five minutes to go they found themselves trailing by four. It was then that Uluchyn, playing point guard, scored the game’s next six points by dropping in his fourth and fifth three-point baskets to put his team up for good, 52-50, with just over three minutes to go.
“My game is mostly going inside,” Uluchyn said, “but then once I find my stroke outside I just keep shooting it.”
With Grant nipping at their heels in the final 22 seconds, Uluchyn missed the front end of a one and one, only to track down the rebound and then dish off an assist for his team’s final points. The junior-to-be led the Nitros in scoring with 19. His 10 points in the first half were key, as Grant generally controlled the action before the break.
“[Uluchyn] is very gritty,” Snodgress said. “Did a little bit of everything for us, kind of a heart and soul kind of kid.”
After scoring the game’s first basket, Glendale trailed for the vast majority of the first half. The Nitros took their first lead of the second half on a inside bucket by Arthur Terzyan, who used his bulk to seal off his defender and get in deep.
“We played really poor defense in that first half. We didn’t close out on the shooters.” Terzyan said. “Our coach kept telling us we had to close out. I think this team has a lot of heart, so we didn’t give up.”
The incoming senior, who was easily the tallest and bulkiest player of the court for both sides, finished with eight points, with six of those coming after the break.
“Last summer I dropped like 15 pounds and I’m hoping to do the same thing this summer just for my team,” Terzyan said, “because I know if I lose weight, the team gets better.”
The win was especially sweet for Glendale, which had lost to Grant the night before in Burbank Summer League play. Additionally, earlier in the day as part of the Glendale College Vaquero Summer Classic Varsity Showcase, Glendale defeated Marshall, another team it had lost to previously this summer.
“Both teams we played today we had played earlier in the summer [and lost to], so for us, it was a barometer to see if we’d gotten better, and I think in both cases we have gotten a little bit better,” Snodgress said.
For the team, which will finish play in the summer classic on Saturday with back-to-back games against Burroughs and crosstown rival Hoover, it was even simpler.
“We had already lost to this team (Grant) once and the team before that (Marshall) and we wanted to get revenge,” Uluchyn said.
For Grant, it was an all-day Glendale affair on Friday in the Verdugo Gym. Just before the loss to Glendale, Grant was defeated by Hoover, 79-73, which attacked the paint relentlessly on the way to the win.