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Glendale High boys' water polo makes it a three-peat versus CV

Water polo: Nitros' 24th consecutive league victory is a 15-11 win over the Falcons in the Pacific League Tournament championship.

October 31, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
  • The Glendale High boys' water polo team dunks its coach, Forest Holbrook, following a 15-11 win over Crescenta Valley in Thursday evening's Pacific League Tournament championship game at Burbank High. (Roger Wilson/Staff Photographer)
The Glendale High boys' water polo team dunks its…

BURBANK — Apparently, the Pacific League boys’ water polo championship was in the bag.

Or at least so was the dry T-shirt that dripping wet Glendale High boys’ water polo coach Forest Holbrook pulled out of his duffel bag, which proclaimed the Nitros third straight league championship.

PHOTOS: Glendale vs. Crescenta Valley boys' water polo

Holbrook proudly displayed the garment after his team relied on clutch scoring and a strong defense late to defeat Crescenta Valley, 15-11, at Thursday afternoon’s Pacific League tournament championship played at Burbank High. The win clinched the title outright for Glendale.

“When I first came to Glendale High School, the plan was to win a Pacific League championship,” Holbrook said. “I was preparing to take three years to get there, not to be winning our third straight title and [24th] straight league game. That’s just enormous and incredible.”

The CIF Southern Section Division V top-ranked Nitros (18-6, 8-0 in league) held a 13-9 lead to start the fourth quarter over Crescenta Valley (15-9, 6-2), which entered the contest sharing the division’s No. 2 ranking with Los Altos.

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The Falcons, who were attempting to avenge a 12-11 setback to the Nitros on Oct. 10 at Pasadena City College, immediately attempted to reverse momentum when Nate Fernandez scored a goal off an assist from Trevor Goddard 27 seconds into the fourth quarter to pull Crescenta Valley within three goals.

While the Falcons forced a turnover on the Nitros’ next possession, they were unable to trim their deficit when a shot by Goddard just pinged off the post.

That near-miss turned into a make the other way when Nitros goalie Daniel Sarkissian (eight saves) started a counter-attack with an outlet pass that found teammate Jayson Wilia, who led a two-on-break with Levon Gevorkyan.

Eventually, Gevorkyan netted a shot past the leaping attempt of Falcons keeper George Vine VI (five saves) for a score with 5:22 remaining that put Glendale up, 14-10.

Unbeknownst to the Falcons was that their final goal came a little more than two minutes later when senior Ryan Moguel (game-high five goals) netted a rebound shot off a Sarkissian block of Griffin Harting (three goals and two assists).

The score again closed the gap to three at 14-11 with 3:17 left.

The Nitros answered with a score from Manuk Piloyan created off a brilliant steal and pass from Arman Momdzhyan with 2:26 remaining to seal the victory.

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