BURBANK — The first half was simply sloppy.
The second half was simply a blowout.
A turnover-filled first half by the Glendale High and Village Christian boys’ basketball teams allowed the Nitros to stay close against a talented Crusaders squad.
A mistaken-prone second half by the Nitros turned a competitive game into a runaway contest for the Crusaders.
Village Christian forced 24 turnovers and scored 41 second-half points to come away with a 75-33 victory against the Nitros on Tuesday in a pool-play game of the Burbank Holiday Tournament at Burbank High.
“We came out and we got sloppy with the ball,” Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress said. “Once you let a talented team relax, the dam breaks. Once they got us to cough it up, there was no stopping them.”
In particular, there was no stopping Village Christian’s Marsalis Johnson, a senior, and Bennie Boatwright, a junior.
Boatwright, a 6-foot-9 guard, had 19 points, 13 rebounds and four steals. Johnson, a 6-7 forward, had 19 points, 10 rebounds and five steals.
Most of their damage came in the second half, notably in the third quarter.
The Crusaders looked like an energized squad in the opening minutes of the third quarter after Glendale (1-1) and Village Christian (2-0) exchanged errant passes, ill-advised shots and missed opportunities in the first half.
Village Christian forced four consecutive turnovers to start the third quarter, turning them into easy baskets and 11 unanswered points. After Glendale’s Arthur Terzyan ended the run with a bucket, the Crusaders went on another run, a 9-0 spurt that gave Village Christian a 54-24 lead. The Crusaders outscored Glendale, 31-4, in the third quarter and, 41-11, in the second half. Boatwright and Johnson combined to score 20 points in the third quarter.
“Our guys do a great job of playing selfless offense and great defense,” Village Christian Coach Jon Shaw said.
Alex Miralis had a team-high seven points for the Nitros, who played without starting guard Stephan Arakelyan, who was out with an illness. Eric Kirakosian added six points and Tyler Lousararian and Raffi Jivalagian each had five points for the Nitros.
Village Christian junior guard Jerrick Ahanmisi added to the Nitros’ woes with 15 points and teammate Jalen Riley had nine points.
Glendale will attempt to learn from its errors and improve when it plays Golden Valley at 6 p.m. Wednesday in another pool-play game in the tournament. Snodgress said he hopes his team’s loss was just an indication of early-season mistakes that should be fixed with practices and games.
Said Snodgress: “We have to take care of the ball better.”