Dons Lose Grudge Match Against Polytechnic

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Verdugo Hills hosted the Polytechnic Parrots Thursday night at the Barn. The Dons have struggled to stay healthy all season, always with at least one key player out of the line-up. Tonight, Guard Alexander Martinez sat next to Alan Hernandez on the bench, looking on as Erik Yerpremyan helped out in the backcourt along with subs Andre Javadian and Garik Yepremyan. Turnovers have continued to be a problem for the Dons this season, in large part due to this uncertain and ever-fluctuating backcourt line-up. Tonight was no different. However, that being said, Verdugo Hills fought hard and nearly took the lead throughout the entire game, coming within one point many times. The final score saw the Parrots on top 80-68.

Adrian Mirzakani and David Marcos led the scoring in the first half, as Verdugo Hills seemed to be playing at Poly’s pace. At one point mid-way through the first quarter, the Parrots scored three lay-ups consecutively in 20 seconds, pushing their lead to 10-4. David Marcos played very well, finding cutters, racking up assists, and looking to drive. Javadian, again, had a break-out shooting performance as the game moved into the second quarter. He hit four three-pointers. He is slowly solidifying his role as one of the Dons’ best long-range shooters. It’s no small feat coming off the bench and scoring double digits, which Javadian did, with 13. At the end of the half, the Dons trailed 33-39. Verdugo Hills weren’t getting much production from down low, mainly because Guillermo "Sonny" Lopez found himself in foul trouble early.

The third quarter belonged to Arlen Tomasian, who was red hot, scoring 11 points. Marcos kept up his spirited play, incorporating the no-look-pass on several occasions for the assist to a cutting Georges Abdulnour and Tomasian. The third quarter was a nail-biter, the Dons trailed by one or two buckets the whole quarter. Towards the end of the third quarter, Marcos drained a three-pointer, but the shot was waived off due to an illegal screen call against the Dons, with the crowd’s cheer sliding into a disappointing sigh. Had the shot counted, the game would have been tied at 55. Rather, the third quarter ended with the parrots up 55-59, even after Erik Yepremyan hit a quarter-ending three pointer. It was a momentum shift without a doubt.

The fourth quarter commenced, and while Marcos and Mirzakani had strong quarters, the Parrots started to close out the game, and it was getting dirty. A Parrot Guard stomped on Marcos who had fallen to the ground during a press-break. He seemed to be reacting to a previous play where he had been run-over unintentionally by Dons Center Lopez. Parrots Coach Pladevega subbed him out and gave him a stern talking to, and the remainder of the contest had the confrontational physicality that makes for an exciting game. Marquez Graham of the Parrots really took over in the second half. He was in foul trouble early, with three fouls in the second quarter, but managed to finish out the game on the court and make an impact. Ultimately, Verdugo Hills played fairly well, and nearly took the lead several times but turnovers were their downfall Thursday evening. The Dons take the court next on Monday in tournament play against Faith Baptist on Monday, December 20.

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