Glendale High boys' water polo remains perfect in league with win over Burbank

BURBANK — On an afternoon in which the Glendale High boys' water polo team's offense was nearly perfect, the squad's league record remained so at the expense of host Burbank.

The Nitros scored the game's first 12 goals and rested starters before halftime in a 16-5 Pacific League victory against the Bulldogs on Tuesday afternoon.

With the win, defending league champion Glendale, the CIF Southern Section Division V top-ranked team, improved to 12-6 overall and 3-0 in league, while Burbank dropped to 6-8, 1-2.

"We had no expectations of this being an early win because we're well aware of how good a program Burbank has had," Nitros Coach Forest Holbrook said. "We came out looking to play our game and do our best and we did some things well."

The Nitros tallied 18 total shots in the first half, with the offense converting 12 of those attempts (67%), as Glendale's final goal came from junior Artak Arzumanyan with 2:15 remaining in the second quarter that put the visitors ahead, 12-0.

Exactly 30 seconds earlier, Holbrook pulled starters Levon Gevorkyan, Manuk Piloyan and Arman Momdzhyan after a goal from Momdzhyan at 2:45 gave Glendale an 11-0 lead.

For Momdzhyan, the score (assisted by Gevorkyan) was the final of four consecutive goals for the senior driver, who finished with a game-high six goals, four assists and one steal and did not reenter the contest.

Earlier, Momdzhyan took on more of a play-making role, setting up teammates Harut Bandikyan and Jason Wilia for goals, the later that propelled the Nitros to a 3-0 advantage with 4:26 left in the first quarter.

Momdzhyan then scored six of his team's next eight goals, while again assisting Wilia for another score before taking the rest of the afternoon off.

"You like these types of games because it gives you a chance to work on your bench," Holbrook said. "We're preparing for the Pacific League championships and CIF, where you're going to need a good, deep bench. You're going to need players who are ready to play and this game gave us an opportunity to give those guys more time."

Burbank eventually snapped Glendale's 12-0 run with a score from senior Dante Nazarian, set up on a mid-pool steal from Andres Pulgarin, with 20 seconds remaining as the Bulldogs headed into the half down 11 goals.

"They're a great team and we look forward to seeing them again," Burbank first-year Coach Zeb Jenkins said of Glendale. "They're quick, they're strong and we have a lot to learn."

Even without three starters, the Nitros won the third quarter, 3-1, before Burbank outscored Glendale, 3-1, in the final period.

Nazarian paced the Bulldogs with three goals, with perhaps his most impressive score coming with 3:49 left in the contest. The senior driver stole possession away from Glendale's Bijan Rezvani at mid-pool and raced toward the opposing goal before firing a score just past the lunge of Nitros goalkeeper David Tiraturyn.

Other than Momdzhyan, Arzumanyan added four goals, while the trio of Piloyan, Bandikyan and Wilia each notched two goals for Glendale. The Nitros goaltending duo of Daniel Sarkissian and Tiraturyn also combined for 10 saves.

Burbank goalie Derek Baer, who was consistently under siege, finished with six saves.

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