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Nitros' victory leaves no doubt

Water polo: In beating CV for the second time this season, Glendale boys have closed the gap with league rival.

October 13, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

PASADENA — There has been no shortage of heated battles for Pacific League supremacy between the boys' water polo teams from Glendale High and Crescenta Valley over the past years, with the three-time reigning league-champion Falcons always finding a way to get the upper hand.

A power shift in favor of the stacked Nitros coming into the season put the writing on the wall that the tide of the rivalry was turning and on Thursday afternoon at Pasadena City College, Glendale more than fulfilled that forecast with a 17-6 win as one-sided as any inflicted on it by the Falcons since CV's current title run began in 2008.

"Getting a win in league, no matter what team it is, is real nice, especially [against] Crescenta Valley," said Nitros Coach Forest Holbrook, whose team's balanced scoring was led by sophomore Armand Momdzhyan's five goals. "It's one of the best teams in our league, so we're really happy about it."

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Having had its 26-match league winning streak snapped by Hoover, 18-12, on Tuesday, rebuilding Crescenta Valley (4-13, 1-2 in league) finds itself on a two-match league skid and has now lost to Glendale twice this season after previously facing the Nitros in a tournament match.

"We're just not learning from our mistakes as quickly as we should and our record speaks for itself," Falcons Coach Jan Sakonju said.

After scoring the first goal of the match on an Antonio Camarillo turnaround and keeping close at 3-2 on another Camarillo tally through the first three minutes, it looked as if the Falcons might be able to hang around as they did on Tuesday, taking a small lead into the half against the Tornadoes.

Glendale (14-6, 4-0) would have none of it. Ending the quarter with two straight goals from David Papazian (three goals) and Momdzhyan, both assisted by Martin Chatalyan, the Nitros stretched their run to 7-0 through the end of the second quarter. Momdzhyan opened the second quarter with a short hook shot for a goal before Papazian followed with a hard skip shot assisted by Shant Tokatyan.

Artak Arzumanyan scored one of his four goals on Manuk Piloyan's feed on a two-on-one counter sparked by a Tokatyan steal at the 2:19 mark and the Nitros closed out the first-half scoring with a man-advantage goal from Chatalyan and an aggressive move to the cage through two defenders by Arzumanyan with 1:11 to go.

"We came out strong and did really good," Momdzhyan said. "[We had] good team chemistry, good passing, everyone was working good, everyone clicked today."

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