Burbank Boys Hoops Season Ends At Quarterfinals With Loss To Loyola, 76-58

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)
By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


During several games this season, the Burbank High boys’ basketball team has played from behind.

On Tuesday night in the CIF Southern Section Division II-AA quarterfinals against visiting Loyola, the Bulldogs once again trailed, but this time couldn’t overcome the deficit and fell 76-58.

Burbank was outscored in every quarter, rallied in the second quarter and came within single digits, however the Cubs proved too talented, too tall and too deep.

“I thought we turned the ball over too much,” said Burbank first-year coach Jamayne Potts, whose team went 20-11 and 8-6 for fifth place in the Pacific League. “Loyola ran their offense very well.”

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(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)
Junior swingman Michael Woods races down the floor in a quarterfinal match against Loyola. Woods had 10 points. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Potts continued: “We were undersized all year, but I’m proud of them. I thought we had a good season. That’s something I’m going to talk about with the guys.”

Indeed the Bulldogs reached the 20-win mark for the first time since 2010 and advanced to the quarters for the first time in six years.

Junior small forward Faraz Khandaker paced the Bulldogs with 18 points followed by junior swingman Michael Woods, who had 10 points with seven rebounds and three blocks.

A scary moment occurred with 2:54 left in the game and Loyola ahead 67-48 as Woods collided with Loyola’s Henry Welsh.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)
Burbank’s Woods (#1) and junior small forward Faraz Khandaker (#15) squeeze a Loyola shooter. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

After leaving his feet, Woods landed on his back, and in the process struck his head on the floor.

The contest was halted at least 15 minutes and Woods was treated and then taken to a local hospital on a stretcher.

“Mike’s a warrior,” Potts said of his talented play-maker who will be back next season with even greater expectations.

Welsh, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound senior center, who will be attending Harvard University where he’ll also play basketball, and 6-8 senior power forward Josh Lavergne each dropped in 21 points.

Welsh, whose older brother Thomas also attended Loyola and now plays center for UCLA, was practically unstoppable in the painted area as he accounted for 15 points at the half.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)
Junior point guard Cameron Sweeten scored five points in a 18-point loss to the Cubs. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Loyola (14-15) took command 41-32 at the break while shooting 48.3 percent from the floor (15 of 31).

Burbank couldn’t find the range for most of the evening, making 18 of 46 for 39.1 percent, but did convert 14 of 19 from the free-throw stripe.

The Bulldogs fell behind 17-10 in the opening quarter as Welsh (11 rebounds with three steals and three blocks) and Lavergne each tallied six points, while senior power forward Enike Anyia (six points) scored four points.

Lavergne’s bucket and 4:05 left in the initial period gave Loyola a 10-3 edge and Welsh’s hoop with 3:48 showing in the second quarter pushed the Cubs ahead 32-17.

Burbank finally found its offense in the second quarter as it drilled seven of 14 from the field with Khandaker scoring 10 points and drilling two three-pointers.

Woods was active with five points and senior point guard Cole Barton poured in three of his five points in the second quarter.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)
Burbank junior forward Thomas Clark (#25) goes up with Loyola’s power forward Josh Lavergne, who had 21 points. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Despite this, the Cubs still outscored the Bulldogs 24-22 in the second quarter as Welsh tossed in nine points, and Lavergne, who knocked in three from three-point range on the evening, had six points.

Each team scored 11 points in the third quarter as Woods accounted for five points and Khandaker had four points.

Welsh and Lavergne each scored four points in the third quarter for the Cubs, who led 52-43 heading into the final stanza.

Lavergne’s three-pointer and 4:40 left on the clock in the third quarter gave Loyola a 49-38 cushion.

Loyola had another 24-point quarter in the finale with eight players scoring including Lavergne, who had five points.

Welsh’s basket with 4:11 left in the final period supplied Loyola with a 65-46 lead.

Others who contributed for Loyola (4-8 and fifth place in the Mission League) in the fourth period were junior shooting guard Rahsheed Clarke (six points), who scored four points and junior power forward Dylan Boehm, who also had four.

Junior small forward Ben Chavez had six points for the Bulldogs, but they all came in the opening half.