By Rick Assad
Two poor quarters were the undoing of the host Burbank High boys’ basketball team on Thursday evening.
Facing a deep and talented Crescenta Valley squad, those two frames couldn’t be overcome as the Bulldogs lost 66-49 in a Pacific League match.
Burbank senior guard/forward Sattwik Banerjee accounted for a game-best 25 points and junior shooting guard Omar Payind added 10 points.
“I started to burn my energy and overwork my legs, so I didn’t have the strength and leg drive to finish on those attempts,” said Banerjee who made 13 of 15 from the free-throw line of the close-range shots.
Crescenta Valley saw senior point guard Mikail Grigoryan finish with a team-best 18 points while Armen Yetenekian tossed in 10 points.
The Bulldogs (5-12 and 1-5 in league) managed nine points in the first period while allowing the Falcons (16-3 and 5-1 in league) 17 points.
In the second period, Burbank outscored Crescenta Valley 14-13 and the score at halftime stood at 30-23.
Mike Lance, Burbank’s interim coach said his team rebounded after a poor opening period.
“Our offense was a little slow starting off, but I was proud of how the boys battled back in the second quarter,” he said. “In the second half, we struggled with some of our defensive rotations and started to run out of steam.”
The Bulldogs dropped nine of 25 from the field for 36 percent at the break and the Falcons also made nine of 25.
A six-point effort in the third quarter followed for the Bulldogs (15 of 52 for 28.8 percent) while the Falcons (21 of 53 for 39.6 percent) sizzled with a 19-point outburst.
Burbank struck for 20 points in the fourth period while holding Crescenta Valley to 17 points.
Grigoryan came out and tallied six points in the first quarter and also hit the first of two three-pointers.
Crescenta Valley shooting guard Vaughn Zargarian tacked on all of his six points via the three-point shot in the same period.
Payind scored on a three-pointer and a conventional basket in the first quarter.
Grigoryan added a trey and two free throws in the second period while Yetenekian had four points.
Banerjee is big and strong and muscled his way for nine points in the second period and also drilled three free throws.
Sophomore point guard Julius Washington chimed in with seven of his nine points in the third period for the Falcons.
Banerjee was held to three converted free throws in the third quarter and senior small forward Dante Shahbazian scored a bucket for his only points.
Burbank made one of 16 shots in the third period for six percent while Crescenta Valley shot 45.4 percent on five of 11.
“We have a couple of players returning from injury next week and will continue to work on our defense,” Lance said. “We’re confident that things will continue to improve as league continues.”
In the fourth quarter for the Falcons, Yetenekian managed four points.
Banerjee tossed in 11 points with seven of the points coming from the charity stripe.
Senior shooting guard Steven Harutunian added four points for the Bulldogs, senior guard Ashot Danielian had three points on a trey, sophomore guard Kevin Dehbashian accounted for three points and senior point guard Mike Gutierrez had two points.
The Falcons dropped 17 of 23 from the charity line for 73.9 percent and the Bulldogs canned 16 of 22 for 72.7 percent.