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Nitros fall in OT, 12-10

Water polo: Comeback after comeback isn't enough as Glendale falls in OT.

November 12, 2011|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

LA MIRADA — With every comeback mounted against the defending CIF champion, the Glendale High boys' water polo team steadily gained confidence.

The lone ingredient Glendale lacked in the end was championship pedigree, something it said proved to be the major difference against La Serna on Saturday in a CIF Southern Section Division V quarterfinal match. It was the second season in a row in which La Serna ousted the Nitros in the quarterfinals.

After overcoming six deficits in regulation, Glendale's superb season came to an end with a 12-10 overtime loss against fourth-seeded La Serna at La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center.

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Glendale (22-8) knotted the game at 9 on a five-meter goal by Martin Chatalyan with seven seconds left in the fourth quarter to send the match into overtime sessions before La Serna's experience proved to be the prevailing factor.

"It took a lot of heart to get back and tie them," said Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook, whose team won its first Pacific League championship since 2002 before opening the playoffs Wednesday with a 20-10 win against Webb. "It's hard to play when you have to come back so many times.

"In the first part of the overtime, we had to focus on defense because that's when things can be decided most of the time."

La Serna (17-14), which opened the playoffs with an 11-8 win against Crescenta Valley and will next meet top-seeded Bonita or Chadwick in a semifinal match at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Mount San Antonio College, got a goal apiece 42 seconds apart from Oliver Carter and Matthew Skinas to take an 11-9 lead late in the first half of overtime.

Chatalyan scored to pull the Nitros to within 11-10 with 28 seconds left in the first half of overtime before Mitchel Embrey capped the scoring 27 seconds later with a man-advantage goal.

Glendale sophomore driver Armand Momdzhyan said the Nitros ran out of steam in overtime.

"We helped each other out in the second half to get back into the game," said Momdzhyan, who paced the Nitros with a team-leading five goals. "They then get those two goals [to start overt overtime] and that made it tough.

"We had to keep going. We played a great team and they just got the upper hand with those two goals."

La Serna Coach Jeff Padgett said his team's experience from winning a title last season proved to be valuable Saturday.

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