The Pacific League boys’ basketball league is as unpredictable as the weather in the Midwest this time of year. It is not a surprise that Muir, Pasadena and Crescenta Valley highs sit atop the standings all at 4-0; what is a surprise is that Glendale currently sits in the last guaranteed playoff spot in fourth place at 2-2 (7-9 overall) and that Burroughs and Burbank highs are a combined 0-8 in league play.
It is a top heavy league with the top three teams usually jockeying for supremacy, and this season appears to be more of the same, but Burbank had looked poised to take the fourth spot with Burroughs hoping to be improved enough to challenge for it too.
Indians coach Adam Hochberg has said that the key to his team’s season would be beating the second-tier Pacific League teams but his squad lost by ten to Hoover to open league play and has been outscored 244-138 in three games since against the league’s top three teams.
One has to wonder about the confidence level of a team that has lost seven straight and that is coming off a 3-24 season in 2010-2011. In fairness to the Indians (7-10 overall), injuries have ravaged their starting line-up and forced others to play a lot of minutes the first half of the season.
Burroughs hosts Arcadia this evening, the Apaches are 1-3 in league and 8-8 overall. The game is a defining moment in the Tribe’s season. A win gets them back on track and keeps them on pace with the middle of the pack in the league while a loss could put them three games back of a guaranteed playoff spot, four games under .500 and further from the wins needed for at-large consideration.
Burbank started league with a brutal stretch against the Falcons, Bulldogs and Mustangs. Even a transfer in Caine Brown Kennedy, listed at 6-6 and a junior from the Las Vegas area, could not spark Burbank. Brown appears to have all the tools to be a player, but he has been plagued by foul trouble since being deemed eligible to compete. The Bulldogs four-point loss to Glendale was a slight upset and dropped Burbank below .500 overall for the first time this season.
The Bulldogs face a critical stretch of games against Hoover, Arcadia and Burroughs. They could get back in the playoff chase in a hurry.