By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor
In front of a boisterous home crowd Thursday night, Ben Chavez scored 14 points to lead four Bulldog players in double figures as Burbank defeated Burroughs, 64-53, to split the season series. Both teams now wait patiently to see if they will be granted at-large bids into the CIF playoffs.
Burroughs (13-13, 5-9) jumped out quick to an early 22-16 advantage after the first quarter but Burbank (12-14, 4-10) had a strong second period outscoring the Indians by eight to take a 34-32 halftime lead.
Leading 43-39 at the end of the third quarter, Burbank’s Adrian Gonzalez knocked down a three-pointer to increase the lead to seven. Moments later, Chavez drilled a three and Mike Woods followed with an acrobatic layup to push the advantage to 55-46. Chavez finished an 8-0 run with another layup and the lead had ballooned to 61-46 for Burbank.
Having surrendered 22 points in the first quarter, the Bulldogs held the Indians to 10 and seven points in the second and third quarters, respectively. Burbank’s defensive prowess enabled the comeback and set up their fourth quarter 21-point offensive explosion.
“After the third quarter, we just said we had to finish this. Finish strong and make our shots,” Chavez said. “We decided to buckle down. Defense leads to offense. Once we got the momentum, it started going from there.”
Ellie Hanno and Faraz Khandaker each scored 12 points with Mike Woods adding 10 and Robert O’Brien chipping in with nine for the Bulldogs.
Chris Hovasapian and Angelo Solis each scored 13 for the Indians. David Schwer had 11 and Steven Hubbell contributed 10 for JBHS.
Burroughs ended the regular season in sixth place in the Pacific League with Burbank one game behind in seventh. The rivals hope to continue their respective seasons but odds are that only one and possibly neither will be invited to the postseason. Word will come via the CIF-SS office on Sunday afternoon.
Until then, Burbank celebrates a much needed victory for its young team that includes seven sophomores.
“We were the underdogs coming into this league and we survived,” Hanno said. “We didn’t want to lose to Burroughs again because we hate that feeling. As long as we play hard, play together, we will win games.”