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Pasadena deep sixes Glendale

Basketball: Bulldogs overcome small roster thanks to size and defense in defeating Nitros, 49-32.

January 25, 2012|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Twelve divided by six equaled two for the Pasadena High girls’ basketball team in Pacific League play Wednesday afternoon.

The short-handed six-girl Bulldogs’ squad, which was missing five players due to grades and injuries, used its height to cut down a Glendale squad twice as large in numbers in completing a two-game season-sweep of the Nitros, 49-32.

“As long as we play smart, we’ll be OK,” Pasadena Coach Wesley Stewart said. “We’re obviously limited in player availability, so we can’t make silly mistakes like fouls. We have to play smart Pasadena basketball.”

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The Bulldogs (11-10, 4-5 in league) continue to fight back after forfeiting three losses earlier this week, winning their second straight league game at the expense of Glendale (9-11, 3-6), which has lost two consecutive contests.

Despite trailing by 16 points at one juncture, the Nitros cut their deficit to nine on a steal and subsequent layup by junior Erlin Keshishzadeh 42 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Glendale then forced a defensive stop when freshman Aleen Joukadarian missed a 10-footer on Pasadena’s next offensive series.

Yet, Bulldogs’ senior center Essence Jones collected an offensive rebound and scored on a putback with 6:22 left to put Pasadena ahead, 37-26.

While Keshishzadeh created another steal-and-layup scenario to pull Glendale within nine again, the Bulldogs answered with a 6-0 run in taking a 45-28 advantage after a two-footer from Megan Rutherford, who was assisted by Dariel Johnson, with 2:20 left that iced the game.

Overall, the Bulldogs won the fourth quarter, 14-8, with eight of their points coming via second chances.

Maybe as important as the rebounding for Pasadena was the emergence of freshman twin sisters Aleen and Nyre Joukadarian, who were both playing in their second games this season after being called up from junior varsity on Monday.

Aleen Joukadarian finished with 15 points, while hitting three of five chances from behind the arc.

“It’s really cool playing on varsity with older girls and against the best,” Aleen Joukadarian said. “I played with these girls during the summer, so I knew a little bit about how they played.”

Aleen Joukadarian helped the Bulldogs open up a comfortable lead in the second quarter when she rebounded and put back a miss from Jones at 3:24 in the second quarter to push Pasadena ahead, 20-11.

Aleen Joukadarian later hit a three-pointer with 33 seconds left before connecting with Nyre Joukadarian (six points) on a no-look, behind-the-back pass with two seconds that resulted in a layup to send the Bulldogs up, 25-11, into the half.

“Any time you give up 25 points in a half, you know it’s a tough game,” Glendale Coach Tania Adary said. “I thought that if we played the way we did in the third quarter the entire game, we could have won.”

The Nitros fell behind, 31-15, with 4:40 left in the third, but closed out the quarter with a 9-4 spurt to trail by 11.

Rutherford led the Bulldogs with 16 points, eight rebounds and two steals, while Jones added eight points and Johnson contributed 13 rebounds, five assists, four steals, four points and two blocks.

Keshishzadeh paced Glendale with eight points and two steals and Kristineh Zadourian chipped in six points and four steals.

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