First published in the Dec. 4 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
The varsity boys’ basketball team for Hoover High School split its four games and finished ninth of 12 teams in the San Gabriel Thanksgiving Feast Tournament last week.
The Tornados competed without senior point guard Michael Fernandez-Washington, who was recovering from a bruised knee.
“[His injury] hurt us more on the defensive end,” said Jack Van Patten, Hoover’s head coach. “The offensive end we were OK except for the rotation because he was a part of the guard rotation, so we had no guards coming off the bench.”
After dropping the opening two games to Lakewood Artesia and Covina, the Tornados bounced back, ending tournament play with a two-game win streak and moving their record to 2-4 overall.
Recently, Hoover defeated South El Monte, 58-39, in the final tournament game on Nov. 27 behind senior guard Allen Akopyan’s first double-double of the season. He scored 19 points, including one 3-pointer and 12 rebounds.
Senior center Daniel Simon added 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while senior shooting guard Anthony Van Patten tallied 12 points on four 3-pointers with four assists and three rebounds.
“Daniel is outstanding; he’s tough. We run the offense through him,” Jack Van Patten said. “He’s not real tall but he’s broad, strong and kind of like a Charles Barkley.”
Sophomore point guard Zack Van Patten registered eight points, including two 3-pointers, with five assists and four steals, while senior power forward David Khourdadjian scored three points on one 3-pointer with a team-high 14 rebounds. Jenghiz Van Patten recorded one assist.
One of the most memorable moments of the tournament was when Tornado Joshua Carranza scored his first career point on a free throw, causing the Hoover bench to erupt with cheers.
“It was exciting for him; all the kids were really happy too. It was special for him; his dad had driven out to see that game, so that was even nicer,” Jack Van Patten said. “He comes to every practice, he works hard, just not everybody gets into games. You are always happy for the guy that doesn’t get as much playing time, and when he does get it, something good happens.”
HOOVER 66, GABRIELINO 34
The Tornados dominated Gabrielino on Nov. 26 to snap their four-game losing streak behind Zack Van Patten’s season-high 24 points, including five 3-pointers, with five assists and five rebounds.
“Zack can score and he had a good game shooting,” Jack Van Patten said. “He handles the ball the whole time; we really don’t have a substitute for him, so he had a great game.”
Anthony Van Patten scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers and five rebounds, while Akopyan also registered 13 points with six rebounds, five steals and three assists.
Simon recorded nine points and six rebounds, and Khourdadjian had five points, including one 3-pointer and a team-high 13 rebounds, while Jenghiz Van Patten scored two points with eight rebounds.