First published in the Dec. 11 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
In a heart-stopping matchup, Glendale High School’s varsity boys’ basketball team edged visiting Burroughs High of Burbank, 51-49, in a Pacific League game on Tuesday.
With the score tied 41-41 in the fourth quarter, Nitros sophomore guard Mo Shareef, who scored a team-high 14 points, drained back-to-back 3-pointers to help Glendale open up a six-point lead in the final minutes of play.
“Mo was patient today, and that’s something he is learning: let the game come to him,” Glendale assistant coach Brendon Norton said. “He’s a sophomore, so it’s his second league game that he’s playing in and I think he did really well handling the pressure down the stretch, knocking down a couple of big threes.”
Burroughs senior point guard Nick Schlander’s 3-pointer cut the deficit to 51-49 but the Bears failed to convert a potential game-tying field goal with half a second remaining.
Nitros junior forward Dior Pierre recorded a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds while adding four assists in the victory. GHS senior point guard Jahir Ponciano added 12 points and four rebounds.
“They are two of our varsity returners. We felt like Dior had a mismatch down low so we were looking to get him the ball … I think he played well,” Norton said. “We expect [Jahir] to come out here, control the tempo, control the pace, and he did that.”
Burroughs went on a 9-0 scoring run early in the third quarter, highlighted by a four-point play and a 3-pointer from junior shooting guard Sam Horning. Bears junior center Tj Lumpkin’s basket gave Burroughs a 32-31 lead.
Lumpkin registered a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 16 rebounds while Horning scored a game-high 16 points, including three 3-pointers, five rebounds and three steals.
“Tj was phenomenal. He was extremely exhausted trying to do it on both ends of the floor,” JBHS head coach Allan Ellis said. “I am very proud of what Sam’s been doing. He worked extremely hard over the summer, extremely hard in the fall, and he’s improved a lot from last year to this year. He’s knocking down open shots and just putting in hard work has helped him excel on the court.”
After Bears freshman point guard Jagger Topp registered a field goal behind the arc, Glendale sophomore forward Haig Jivalagian tied it 37-37 to set up an exciting fourth quarter.
Glendale junior forward Hovany Nazaretian and sophomore guard Mika Petrosian each added four points, while Jivalagian and sophomore forward Nico Zadorian combined for four points.
Bears senior forward Elias Pavia and Schlander recorded 11 and five rebounds, respectively, while each scored seven points. Topp added four points and a team-high three assists while JBHS junior guard Elden Jackson had one point.
Glendale snapped a three-game losing streak with the victory and moved to 1-1 in league play (5-5 overall).
Meanwhile, Burroughs (4-2 overall record, 1-1 in league) will travel to Yeshiva University of Los Angeles for a nonleague game on Wednesday, Dec. 15, at 8 p.m.