BURBANK — With a few signature jaw-dropping moves sprinkled into Tuesday's Pacific League Tournament opener at Burbank High, Hoover High's Hakop Kaplanyan reaffirmed his status as the most explosive individual force in area boys' water polo, but Glendale retained the upper hand in the two teams' rivalry.
The Nitros got six goals from David Grigorian and, just as importantly, a solid defensive effort by Cole Veloz in limiting Kaplanyan, the reigning All-Area Boys' Water Polo Player of the Year, to five goals in Glendale's 15-12 win, its second over the cross-town Tornadoes in the last six days.
"The key for us was first off shutting down Hakop, or trying to shut him down — I've never seen a team shut him down, other than when Crescenta Valley did earlier this year," said Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook, whose team will play Crescenta Valley in the championship game at 5:15 p.m. at Burbank on Thursday after Hoover plays Burbank for third place at 4:15. "Our goal is to limit Hakop to one goal per quarter. He got five off and we're still pretty happy at that."