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Glendale High boys' water polo advances to title game with win over Burbank

Nitros starters ask to be reinserted, lead team to 20-11 win versus Bulldogs in Pacific League Tournament.

October 30, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
(Tim Berger / Staff…)

BURBANK — About a minute into the third quarter, Glendale High boys' water polo Coach Forest Holbrook began to hear some chirping.

PHOTOS: Glendale vs. Burbank in Pacific League boys' water polo  

The complaints came after the coach had taken out his starters in Tuesday afternoon's Pacific League Tournament semifinal versus host Burbank High after the Nitros had built an 11-goal advantage at intermission.

Yet, those complaints weren't coming from the stands, but from just outside the pool as those starters implored their coach to reassert them back into the contest and allow them to finish what they started.

Glendale did so, pushing back a Bulldogs charge in the fourth quarter en route to a 20-11 victory that puts the Nitros in position to take care of some more unfinished work, namely the prospect of wrapping up a Pacific League championship.

"We're really competitive and we don't ever want to come out of the pool. It feels like we're being lazy when we're not in," said Glendale senior Arman Momdzhyan (four goals and six assists), who along with Artak Arzumanyan and Manuk Piloyan were most vocal about returning to the game. "We feel like we need to be out there to help our team."

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With the victory, tournament top seed Glendale (17-6, 7-0) will face second-seeded Crescenta Valley (15-8, 6-1) on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. back at Burbank High for the Pacific League Tournament championship.

Burbank (10-10, 3-4) will take on Pasadena (14-7, 4-3) in the preceding contest at 4:30 p.m.

Getting to Thursday's final required a little patience from the Nitros, who outscored the Bulldogs, 8-1, in the second quarter in taking a dominant 14-3 advantage into the break.

Up double-digits, Holbrook made a wholesale switch, swapping out his starters for bench players to begin the third quarter, which resulted in the Bulldogs winning the third quarter, 5-1, and rallying within 15-8.

Even with Glendale's starters back in the contest, Burbank's Artur Mheryan (team-high six goals, three steals and three assists) scored a rebound goal at the 5:12 mark to pull his squad within 15-9.

That was the closest the Bulldogs ever came again as the Nitros responded with three straight goals, the first a score from Arzumanyan (team-high eight goals and three steals) off an assist from Harut Bandikyan with 4:56 remaining that put Glendale back up by seven.

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