BURBANK — As the Glendale High boys’ basketball summer schedule drew to a conclusion in a game with Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies at Burbank High, the Nitros were still left pondering their rotation.
“We’ve got some guys that compete hard and we’ve got some guys who are a little skilled and we’d like to develop. Really, the calculus for us is figuring out what combination [to put on the floor],” Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress said. “You can’t go with all guys who have a little bit of skill, but don’t want to defend, and you can’t go with the sometimes tougher kids who can’t find the bucket.”
In the finale Thursday afternoon against the Knights, the Nitros seemed eager to end their summer on a high note. Glendale scored the last six points of regulation to force overtime before falling, 43-41, on a driving layup in the game’s final seconds.
“The only thing we didn’t want to give up [at the end] is a play at the rim and that is exactly what we gave up to lose the game,” Snodgress said. “Our inability to move laterally and stop people from penetrating has been a problem this summer.”
In the two-minute extra session, the teams traded baskets before SOCES called timeout with 28 seconds remaining. Knights guard Steven Rockline took the ball up top and, revisiting a theme throughout the contest, broke his defender down and drove all the way in for the game-winning bucket.
Glendale, which played the game without point guard Eddie Uluchyn, did have one final chance to tie or win, but could not find a quality shot and a last-second, three-point heave didn’t come close.
“It was a very close game, but that last series said it all,” Snodgress said. “We let someone get to the rim and score and then we, instead of attacking back with a chance to tie or win, we got a little tied up.”
The Nitros trailed, 39-33, with under five minutes to go in the second half before they reeled off the game’s next six points. The final two points, which evened the score at 39, came on a layin by Glendale’s Tyler Lousararian that he made possible by a move down the middle of the lane.
Lousararian, who finished with six points, had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but his jumper drew iron as the horn sounded.
Glendale was led in scoring by center Arthur Terzyan (14 points). The senior-to-be, the tallest player on either squad, scored eight points in the first half, in which the Nitros led by as many as five, but found themselves trailing, 24-21, at halftime.
Terzyan used his bulk to get inside at the start of the second half and scored his team’s first six points, but was held scoreless after that.
“There were two people on me when the ball was on the opposite side and we were having a tough time getting it in,” Terzyan said. “In the beginning of the second half and the end of the first half, we kind of started doing that and getting it into the post. But the last five minutes we got away from that.”
Despite the defeat, Snodgress sees some good things developing in his big man.
“Arthur has soft hands for a big man, he’s got a little skill,” Snodgress said. “A little better conditioning would go a long way for him. He’s taken some baby steps in that direction, but for us to be competitive this fall, and for him to reach his potential, he’s got to get out and run a little bit more. He had a very good summer.”
This sentiment is echoed by Terzyan.
“[I need to be able] to run up and down the court without getting tired,” Terzyan said of what he’s still working on, “and keeping it up on the defensive end and not being a one-side-of-the court player.”
Thursday’s loss marks the end of summer basketball for the Nitros, but not the end to their search for the best combination of players to put on the floor this coming fall.
“We were happy that every player seemed to get a little better this summer,” Snodgress said, “but that issue of what balance of competitiveness and skilled play [and] investment is, even in the last summer game, we’re still looking at that as the question of the summer.”