PASADENA — Some say it's not how you start, but how you finish.
Well, starting strong is important, too.
“We were doing what we have to do,” said Glendale's Kristineh Zadourian, who led her team with 16 points. “We came out with energy, with heart.”
The Nitros (9-6, 2-2 Pacific League) jumped out to a 22-5 lead after the first quarter. The game looked like a yawner, as Glendale capitalized on crisp passing while also dominating the glass.
But then the tide slowly started to turn. Pasadena coach Wil White entered a couple of players who he benched for the first quarter.
“We had to discipline some players,” White said. “If you don't practice, you don't play. I hope the girls learned from it.”
The Bulldogs opened the second period with back-to-back threes from Kristina Tatikian and Katia Muradian and Pasadena (3-10, 1-3) ultimately cut the deficit to 28-16 entering halftime.
Glendale connected on only one field goal in the second period.
“I think we got a little comfortable for a little bit,” said Glendale Coach Tania Adary.
It was more of the same for Pasadena in the third period. Muradian started the frame with a three-pointer and Tatikian banked one in from long distance to finish the period as the Bulldogs pulled to within 36-31.
After Pasadena closed to 41-38 with a little over five minutes remaining, Glendale finally got back on track.
“Teams are always going to make runs,” Zadourian said. “But we put an end to it and came out with the win.”
Ellin Avanessian knocked down a three-pointer and Zadourian had the ball in her hands down the stretch, making seven foul shots in the fourth period as the Nitros pulled away.
“She's been a four-year varsity player,” Adary said of trusting Zadourian in crunch time. “She knows what I expect.”
Added Zadourian: “I've made myself that player, practice day in and day out for that moment. She trusts to put the ball in my hands.”
Erlin Keshishzadeh had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Glendale, while teammate Marissa Deciga added 10 points and Kristina Shakian grabbed 11 rebounds.
Dariel Johnson had 20 points and eight rebounds for Pasadena.
“I'm impressed with how we fought back,” White said.