Burbank Boys Hoops Takes Out Valley Torah

The Bulldogs outscored the Wolfpack 52-26 in the second half of a summer league game and cruised to an 87-48 win.

Burbank took on Valley Torah in a summer league boys' basketball game and won 87-48. (Photo by Morgan Wright)

By Rick Assad

There are a few rule changes for summer league basketball games and they include four 10-minute quarters and a running clock. The clock only stops after a called time out.

And of course, the games are less formal but still intense because despite it being a summer league encounter, no team wants to lose.

To date, the Burbank High boys’ team has been involved in several summer league games and the squad added an impressive and decisive 87-48 triumph over visiting Valley Torah on Wednesday night at the main gym.

One of the goals for the Bulldogs this summer and beyond is to play a sticky, stingy, stifling defense and it was on display versus the Wolfpack.

So far, so good as the team appeared to be a cohesive defensive unit and many players were used.

As more games are played and the players know each other better, the results are more likely to get better, which has to be encouraging.

After taking a 16-14 edge into the second quarter, Burbank, which made five of eight from the field for 62.5 percent in the opening frame, the Bulldogs limited Valley Torah to eight points in the second quarter after converting four of 14 from the field for 28.5 percent.

Most noticeably, Burbank outscored the Wolfpack 52-26 over the second half.

The Bulldogs outscored the Wolfpack in every quarter of a summer league game on home. (Photo by Morgan Wright)

Burbank connected on 13 of 28 for 46.4 percent from the floor in the first half and held Valley Torah to 11 of 26 for 42.3 percent.

During that 20-minute stretch, the Bulldogs made 19 of 30 from the floor for 63.3 percent while the Wolfpack converted 13 for 32 for 40.6 percent.

“I’m pleased with our progress so far this summer, especially on defense,” Burbank second-year coach Steve Eshleman said of his team that nailed 32 of 58 shots for 55.1 percent. “We are putting a huge emphasis on pressure defense and pushing the ball offensively creating an up-tempo game.”

The Bulldogs had several players stand out overall and they included junior Cristopher Ong, who tossed in 14 points.

Avo Papikyan added 13 points for the Bulldogs and Areg Aslanyan tallied 12 points.

Sophomore point guard Jonathan Ong tallied seven points and sophomore forward Blake Finnigan chipped in with six points.

“Our willingness to share the ball and get everyone involved has the coaching staff excited about what we can become moving forward,” Eshleman noted. “Our goal is to be one percent better every time we’re on the floor, whether it’s a game or practice.”

The Wolfpack outrebounded the Bulldogs 35-30 in large part because the visitors shot 41.3 percent on 24 of 58 attempts.

Though it’s extremely early and the basketball season is five months away, the Bulldogs are on the right path to post a better record in all games and in the Pacific League after finishing 6-22 and 2-12 in the league.