For much of the postseason the Burbank High boys’ basketball team has been the team that has rallied to pull off a number of upset victories.
Saturday night things were a little different for the Bulldogs against Blair High of Pasadena.
Blair gave Burbank all it could handle and then some in forcing overtime before the Bulldogs prevailed 73-70 in the second round of the CIF Division 4 state touranment.
Burbank will host Immanuel High of Reedley in the semifinals of the Southern Region on Tuesday.
“What I’m proud of most tonight is that we got off to a better start,” Burbank coach Jamayne Potts said. “Every game we’ve had a slow start. Tonight we got out to a 21-14 lead, so I think the good start helped us with our win.
“We knew coming in that Blair was a lot like us in that the fight was always going to be there. They’re athletic, they like to drive. I thought we did a pretty good job of putting the ball in the hole tonight. We made more free throws, so I was proud of us offensively. We kept our composure.”
Burbank (25-9) actually led 17-4 early on in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs also got a spark from sophomore point guard Tyrese Willis, who finished with 11 points.
“The game plan was to play Tyrese a little more because the minutes he’s gotten in other games, he’s looking more and more confident,” Potts said.
But Blair, which had just nine players and does not have any lower level teams, fought back.
The two teams were tied at 35 at halftime.
Burbank continued to hold the lead until the Vikings took a 60-59 lead with 4:29 to play on a pair of free throws by Jack Dakan.
Dakan gave Blair its only lead of the overtime period when he hit a three-pointer to make it 69-68. He had a game-high 25 points.
Burbank re-took the lead on a basket by Abdullah Kobaissi, which was followed by a pair of free throws from Michael Woods with 49 seconds left in overtime to make it 72-69. Woods led Burbank with 21 points.
Burbank got 12 points from Kobaissi, 11 from Cameron Sweeten and nine from Thomas Clark. Ben Chavez had five points and Faraz Khandaker had four.