BURBANK — It didn’t take too long for the members of the Hoover High boys’ basketball team to respond from a tough defeat.
The Tornadoes simply went back to concentrating on playing tenacious defense and capitalizing on fast-break opportunities.
Hoover used both components in large doses Tuesday to record a convincing 84-55 victory against Oakwood in a consolation game of the 25th annual Paul Sutton Tip-Off Classic at Providence High.
The Tornadoes began the tournament Monday with a season-opening 67-62 defeat against Malibu. They went back to work Tuesday, collecting 32 fast-break points and 23 steals to turn back Oakwood (0-2).
“We have a pretty resilient team and we did some things well [Tuesday],” said Hoover Coach Jack Van Patten, who got a game-high 18 points from junior forward Chris Sarkisian and 12 points from senior guard Arlen Moradi. “We were able to bounce back and do some things we do best.
“We were a little choppy on offense, though that’s expected early in the season. We were able to get quite a few steals and head to the net.”
Hoover never trailed against Oakwood and held a 47-20 halftime advantage. The Tornadoes closed out the first half on a 22-6 run and never looked back.
“It all starts with getting a steal and then fast-breaking,” said Sarkisian, who had 10 first-half points. “Our defense and running were a lot better than the first game.
“It’s just a great way to be able to bounce back.”
Hoover also received 10 points from senior forward Teo Davidian, all in the first half.
Hoover held a 17-9 lead after the first quarter and a 72-38 advantage through three quarters.
“We know we have to be able to work hard at both ends to give us a very good chance at winning,” said Van Patten, whose team finished fifth in the Pacific League and advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division III-AA playoffs last season. “We have a lot of confidence that we can do well.
“You look at a guy like Chris and he’s our biggest player [at 6 feet 3 inches]. He’s making a transition by now playing post defense. He’s still learning it and he’ll get it figured out.”
Sarkisian scored on a layup to give the Tornadoes a 39-20 lead with 1:40 remaining in the second quarter. Earlier in the second quarter, Davidian made a pair of three-pointers from the left side. Davidian’s second three-pointer extended Hoover’s lead to 25-14 with 6:18 left in the first half.
Hoover junior guard Kevin Nazari finished with 11 points, five assists and five steals. Moradi contributed four steals.
Nazari made a three-pointer to give the Tornadoes a 60-27 lead with 4:15 remaining in the third quarter.
Hoover will next participate in another tournament contest at 6:30 p.m. Thursday against Pasadena Armenian General Benevolent Union. The tournament will conclude Saturday.
The Tornadoes will take part in two more tournaments in December before beginning Pacific League competition in January. They will compete in the Pioneer Tournament from Dec. 16-21 and the Whittier Tournament from Dec. 26-30.
Hoover will begin league Jan. 7 against visiting Burroughs.