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Late surge propels Burbank High boys' water polo past Hoover

Water polo: Tornadoes squander late lead, as Bulldogs rally with four goals for 9-7 league win.

October 03, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Burbank High's Artur Mheryan takes a shot on goal versus Hoover High in Pacific League action on Thursday. Burbank won, 9-7. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
Burbank High's Artur Mheryan takes a shot on goal…

GLENDALE — A pair of two-goal deficits in the third quarter weren’t enough to bury the Burbank High boys’ water polo team in the second Pacific League match of the year at Hoover High.

For the second time in the third frame, the Tornadoes had an opportunity to seize momentum with a three-goal lead when they earned a man advantage with 8:29 to play in the game.

PHOTOS: Hoover vs. Crescenta Valley boys' water polo

Hoover’s near-post shot was saved by Burbank goalie Derek Baer. The Bulldogs keeper then fired an outlet pass to Dante Nazarian, who went on to score. It was the first of four consecutive Burbank goals that secured a 9-7 Bulldogs victory.

“We had to adjust,” first-year Burbank Coach Zeb Jenkins said of his team’s late rally, “they’re pretty good, better than we thought. They’re a great team and gave us a good fight and I’m proud. I am glad our team was able to adjust with the way the game was being played.”

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While Burbank scored four goals in the final 8:10, Hoover was shut over the final 9:09.

“I think a couple players felt pressure and they pushed that pressure onto their teammates,” said Hoover Coach Kevin Witt, whose team dropped its league opener to Pasadena, 13-11, Tuesday, while Burbank fell to Crescenta Valley, 17-6, in its opener. “It’s unfortunate how it ended up, but credit Burbank; it was tough to come back from that after a tough game against CV and to come back and win late like that, I think it’s impressive.”

Twenty-eight seconds after Nazarian’s goal, Andres Pulgarian scored on a quick break after a Shant Piramzyan steal and Arman Torosian assist to tie the game at 7 with 42 seconds left in the third quarter.

Approximately 1:15 into the fourth, the Bulldogs (6-6, 1-1 in league) took their first lead of the game on a six-on-five goal from Pulgarian on an Artur Mheryan assist. Burbank capped the scoring with 3:02 to play when Gevork Terzyan turned his defender, took a pass from Nazarian and converted an uncontested shot on goal.

Hoover (2-7, 0-2) had four more shots on goal and looked to its leading goal scorer in the game, Hakop Baghumian, to find a clutch goal. Burbank zeroed in on the senior center defender and denied him clean looks on goal late after he had a game-high four goals and six steals earlier.

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