In what was arguably the greatest finish to a high school basketball in Burbank High history, senior Michael Woods slam dunked back a Cameron Sweeten shot that fell off the front end of the rim with 1.7 seconds left to lift the Bulldogs to a 52-50 win over second-seeded Crean Lutheran in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA playoffs.
Burbank will be at home once again on Friday in the semifinals to host third-seeded Rancho Mirage, with the winner advancing to the CIF title game. It will mark Burbank’s first semifinal appearance since 2010.
“I’m like if I go as hard I can they’re definitely not going to expect it and I have the leaping ability so I jumped as high as I can, and luckily the ball didn’t go to the left, it came right to me,” Woods said of the winning basket.
Burbank (22-8) trailed by as many as 12 points early in the third quarter. The Bulldogs took the lead for the first time since the first quarter when Thomas Clark hit a three-pointer with 6:53 left to play to make it 40-39.
Crean Lutheran (23-7) received a fine effort from 6-foot-7 senior Michael Bagatourian, who had a game-high 25 points.
He helped his team build a 48-45 lead with less than two minutes left. But Burbank came back with a basketball by Sweeten and a giant three-pointer by Ben Chavez with 33 seconds left that gave the Bulldogs a 50-48 lead.
“We all knew it was going to go in no matter who took it,” Chavez said. “We were confident.”
Bagatourian, who played all over the court for the Saints, tied the game at 50 with a short turn around shot after posting up inside the key.
Burbank coach Jamayne Potts credited Sweeten for helping his team break out of a first-half slump in which the Bulldogs scored just 19 points.
“I though Cameron had a huge third quarter for us,” Potts said of Sweeten, who had 11 of his team-high 17 points in the third quarter. “We pushed the ball in transition, which is our strength. We talked about at halftime was to we need to penetrate a lot more against their 3-2 zone. It opened up some threes for us.”
Woods, who did not score in the first and did not make a field goal until the fourth quarter, finished with 11 points. Faraz Khandaker finished with nine points, Clark had seven and Chavez had six.
Abdullah Kobaissi had two points.