LA CAÑADA —The Glendale High boys’ basketball team dropped its third straight game in the La Cañada Holiday Classic, this time a 67-57 loss to Marina in a pool-play showdown Friday afternoon.
The Nitros never led in the contest, mainly due to problems taking care of the ball. The Vikings used a full-court press throughout to keep Glendale’s offense from getting in sync. Moreover, the Nitros didn’t help their own cause with sloppy play.
“It was a combination of both,” Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress said. “They had a good press, but we need to be sharper with the ball. There were some tipped passes and we were throwing the ball away. Bad decision-making.”
The Nitros (3-4) will culminate play in the tournament Saturday, as they take on a Pacific League foe Arcadia.
Against the Vikings, Glendale battled throughout, but a couple extended scoring runs did them in.
The first came in the opening quarter. Glendale trailed, 14-12, on an offensive rebound and put-back from center Arthur Terzyan, but three turnovers on the ensuing subsequent three possessions soon allowed for Marina to end the quarter on a 7-2 run and take a 21-14 advantage after the first eight minutes of play.
Glendale didn’t score until the 4:25 mark of the second quarter. Neither team was potent on the offensive end in the frame, with each team scoring only nine points. Glendale trailed by four at 27-23 late in the quarter and had possession of the ball before a technical foul allowed Marina to close the quarter strong and retake a seven-point lead going into the break.
Terzyan and the Nitros came out strong in the third quarter, hitting their first four field goals. Terzyan was involved with each score, beginning the half with a strong move inside and then assisting on the next three Glendale baskets.
Unfortunately for the Nitros, Marina answered each score with one of its own. Also unfortunate was that Glendale cooled down and didn’t score again until Tyler Lousararian ended the drought with less than a minute remaining in the third.
By then, Marina was on an 8-0 scoring run that ballooned its lead to 15 at 46-31.
The Vikings scored six of the first eight points in the fourth and looked to be comfortably ahead at 52-37, but Glendale answered again with three straight three-pointers from Eric Kirakosian, Alex Miralis and Stephan Arakelyan midway through the stanza to cut the Vikings lead down to 52-46.
The momentum would be short-lived, as Marina answered with a pair of layups, prompting a Glendale timeout. Minutes later, with just over a minute remaining, Lousararian followed Kirakosian’s missed lay-up and cut the Vikings down to six.
Marina’s Greg Fronek, Jr. made the team’s eighth three-pointer on the ensuing possession with 1:06 left to play. It would prove to be a back-breaker for Glendale, which couldn’t overcome nine points in 66 seconds.
Fronek, Jr. led all scorers with 19 points. Glendale received a solid all-around effort from Terzyan, who grabbed 12 rebounds, blocked six shots, dished out four assists and scored 10 points.
The Nitros had balanced scoring, led by Kirakosian’s 13, Miralis’ 12 and 10 points apiece from Arakelyan and Lousararian.
“Arthur was a presence inside,” Snodgress said. “He kept us in it and was a force blocking shots, but he got into some foul trouble and being behind, we had to play a speed temp. Those were the two factors in him not getting as many minutes as we’d like.”
The Nitros have not had an easy time in the tournament, as Snodgress tries to settle into a rotation and win games going deep into his bench at the same time. The loss to Marina marks the third consecutive double-digit defeat.
“We’re still searching,” the veteran coach said. “We’re getting good individual play from our guards, but we are lacking the complete package — somebody to run the show. Eric is playing well in an athletic role, but we still need someone to control the game.
“This week has tested us. We’re not handling the pressure well.”