PASADENA - Perhaps the most successful era in the brief history of the Pasadena Armenian General Benevolent Union boys' basketball program came to an early end Friday afternoon.
The Spartans did not convert a field until 42 seconds remained in the first quarter and played catch-up the rest of the way in a 73-33 loss to visiting second-seeded Shalhevet in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division V-A playoffs.
Harris was concerned about Friday's early start time, which was moved from 7 p.m. to 1:40 p.m. in observance of the Jewish Sabbath and in accommodation for the Firehawks (22-1).
That worry was realized as the Spartans (8-11) missed their first 12 shot attempts and fell behind 16-0 after five minutes.
Spartans senior forward Nareg Zomdjian scored AGBU's first point on a free throw with 2:12 remaining and senior guard Andy Ketsoyan hit a jumper with 42.9 seconds left in the quarter to bring AGBU within 18-3 at the end of the first.
AGBU's shooting never heated up, as the Spartans were outscored, 16-7, in the second quarter and trailed, 34-10, at the break.
Maybe the most significant shot of the second quarter was a three-pointer from Ketsoyan (team-high 21 points) with 5:46 remaining that brought the Spartans within 24-8.
The shot was only the first of two makes for the Spartans from behind the arc in 22 attempts.
Unfortunately for AGBU, that bucket was countered 14 seconds later when Shalhevet senior guard Ari Watchtenheim (16 points) knifed through the lane for a layup, was fouled and hit his follow-up free throw.
"Our shots just didn't fall. This was a very early game for us. We've never played this early," said Ketsoyan, who along with fellow seniors Andrew Tahmazian and Sevag Boyadjian are the only three members to have played on all four AGBU postseason-qualifying teams. "We're not used to shooting at 1:30 in the afternoon."
Harris was also irked about the start time.
"The game was supposed to be scheduled at 7 p.m. and the team couldn't compromise and we couldn't play on Saturday or Sunday because we were going out of town because they have an Armenian function in San Diego," Harris said. "So, it put us in a real bad spot because my team has never played before 4 p.m. This game started at 1:40 and we've never even had a practice at 3."
The Firehawks won the third quarter, 19-9, in extending their lead to 36 points.
Jojo Fallas led the Firehawks with 21 points, while Simcha Halper added 18 points for Shalhevet.