Playing on the road with a chance to return to the CIF championship round for the first time since 2017, the Burbank High boys basketball team left everything it had on the court.
After a slow start, the Bulldogs fought back and until the end, only to come up short 63-51 against Martin Luther King Jr. High in Riverside in a Southern Section Division 3AA semifinal.
Burbank started off slowly and trailed 8-0 before it even took its first shot as the Bulldogs turned the ball over three times.
But once Burbank got going the Bulldogs they started to catch up and did it quickly.
A 3-pointer by Elmer Reyes got Burbank on the board to make it 8-3.
Reyes hit another 3-pointer later in the quarter to tie the score at 12.
The host Wolves ended the quarter on a 6-0 run.
King went up 22-12 in the second quarter but Burbank once again fought back and cut the lead to 24-23 on a jumper by Vartan Avetisyan. After Burbank trailed 30-25 at halftime, Avetisyan hit a 3-pointer to start the second half to cut the deficit to 30-28.
A basket by Avetisyan moments later tied things at 30. After the Wolves scored a basket, Reyes returned the favor by keeping the Bulldogs on level terms.
But King, which was led by 6-foot-5 junior wing guard Jaden Winfield, put together a 7-0 run that ended when Reyes hit another 3-pointer to cut the lead to 39-35.
King then went on a 14-2 run to open up a 53-39 lead in the fourth quarter.
Avetisyan wasn’t finished as he hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 53-42. But Burbank would never be able to get within single digits.
Reyes finished with 16 points. Avetisyan had 15 points. Phoenix Mosley had six points and Hamlet Aslanyan had five points. Zachary Brown had four points, Jerardo Menjivar had three and Armen Nazaryan had two points.