Glendale High girls' basketball can't buy last-minute bucket

BURBANK — With five shots at a game-winning field goal in the final minute of play, the odds would figure to have been in the Glendale High girls’ basketball team’s favor.

Alas, the Nitros came up short each time in a 22-19 loss to Sun Valley Poly in a Burroughs High summer league basketball game Tuesday afternoon.

It appeared Glendale had plenty of time to make a comeback, down 20-19 with three minutes and 50 seconds to play, and take back the lead it held in the first 13:30 of the contest.

After three Poly turnovers in the final 60 seconds, Glendale had one last shot at a win. With her team still down one with eights seconds left, Nitros Coach Tania Adary called timeout and drew up an inbounds play near half-court.

The play was doomed from the start, as Poly’s Monica Perla pressured and tipped the inbounds pass before stealing it and cashing in an easy layup as time expired to seal the win.

“I just told them to literally get the ball inbounds and run a play we’ve been doing all summer,” Adary said. “They panicked I guess.”

Despite the disappointing result, Adary was happy to have gained the experience if nothing else.

“I am kind of glad it came down to a last-second situation, it was more game-like. I think they learned from that more than they did the entire game [last week],” said Adary, in reference the Nitros’ 43-5 over Simi Valley in summer-league play on June 25. “We started off strong with energy, but then they kind of died out on defense and started turning the ball over. We scored 19 points in 20 minutes, that’s a problem.”

A 4-0 Glendale run in the middle of the second half tied the game at 18 with nine minutes to play. The Nitros’ Gabby Yanai hit one of two free throws twice and Claire Yanai hit a rare jump shot for Glendale during the run.

Poly’s Stephanie Gurrola (seven points, nine rebounds) ended a five-and-a-half minute scoring drought with a putback bucket to break the tie, 20-18. Sun Valley’s ability to grab offensive rebounds proved the difference Tuesday, as it beat Glendale on the boards, 35-24, with 13 of those coming on the offensive end. Four of those offensive rebounds led to easy putbacks, which proved crucial in the low-scoring affair.

“It is definitely a learning experience,” said Ivet Satorian, who led Glendale in scoring with seven points. “Throughout the game we were getting outrebounded and committing turnovers; that’s not our basketball.”

The Nitros scrambled to even the score, while the Parrots attempted to pad their lead. The frantic play led to both teams combining for six turnovers over the next 1:56.

The streak of turnovers ended when Glendale’s Kristina Sahakian went to the line with a chance to tie the game with 1:31 to play. The sophomore center — who finished with a game-high 11 rebounds, five points and five steals — missed the first, but made the second free throw to bring her team within a point, 20-19.

Poly missed its next shot and Glendale’s Alex Lee (seven rebounds, three steals) grabbed the board. Aided by a Lee offensive rebound, the Nitros missed their next two shots before the Parrots grabbed a board. Instead of fouling, Lee forced a steal and Adary called a timeout with 43.9 seconds to play.

Glendale missed its third straight shot and Poly controlled the ball again before Sahakian added her fifth steal. The Nitros missed the ensuing shot and it was rebounded by Poly with 30 seconds to play.

“This is what we practice for, situations like that,” Satorian said. “We just couldn’t seem to buy a bucket there.”

After three quick fouls, the Parrots were sent to the line with 9.8 ticks left. They missed the first of the one-and-one chance, but Gurrola came down with the board. In doing so, Gurrola fell to the floor, which resulted in a traveling violation that gave Glendale its final failed attempt at victory.

Despite the loss, Satorian said the Nitros are moving in the right direction this summer.

“Out of the nine [summer league games], we’ve won six, which I think is a pretty good start since we’re all learning how to play together,” Satorian said. “We’re doing pretty well. It’s working out good so far, we can learn from this and hope for a better game next week.”

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