Burbank Boys Water Polo Clashes With Arcadia, Wins 10-6

The Bulldogs are led offensively by Andranik Bilbulyan with five goals against the Apaches in a Pacific League semifinal encounter.

Burbank knocked off Arcadia 10-6 in a Pacific League semifinal match. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Rick Assad

Aside from a slow-scoring opening first quarter, the Burbank High boys’ water polo came out ready for action in a Pacific League semifinal matchup with Arcadia on Tuesday night at the Glendale High Aquatic Center.

Backed by a match-best five goals from senior Andranik Bilbulyan, including four tallies in the second half, the Bulldogs powered past the Apaches 10-6 and will meet Crescenta Valley, which knocked off Burroughs 11-3 in a semifinal, on Thursday at 6:45 p.m. for the championship. It will be held at the same site.

“I loved what I saw from every single person on our squad today. We came out very aggressive in the first half and maintained that lead throughout to the end, which is very tough to do against the team who’s undefeated [in league] up until this point,” Burbank coach David Arakelyan said. “I’m very happy with our performance and hopefully we can take this momentum into the finals on Thursday.”

Arcadia was led offensively by Nathan Loo with four goals, with three coming in the second half.

It was knotted at 1-1 entering the second period before the Bulldogs outscored the Apaches 4-1 and led 5-2 at halftime.

It was extremely close in the second half with Burbank (18-10) holding a slight edge, 5-4 over Arcadia (21-3).

Burbank junior Daniel Agazaryan kicked off the scoring with a 12-yard shot and 6:31 left in the first quarter for a 1-0 lead.

When Arcadia’s Jaden Joemtree scored on a five-yarder with 4:01 on the clock, it was even at 1-1.

The second period was key for the Bulldogs as junior Avet Avetisyan added a seven-yarder and 6:36 remaining for a 2-1 advantage, but Loo countered with a 14-yarder, 19 seconds later to even it at 2-2.

Burbank’s Andranik Bilbulyan, pictured in a previous match with the Bears, scored five goals in a semifinals match against the Apaches. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs came out and nailed the next three goals and they were scored by Avetisyan from 15 yards with 3:29 left for a 3-2 lead, sophomore Jack Babelyan on a 10-yarder and to make it 4-2 and Bilbulyan on a four-yarder with 53 seconds remaining for a three-goal advantage.

Loo’s tally from seven yards and 6:14 left in the third quarter cut the lead to 5-3, but another three-goal assault by the Bulldogs extended the lead to 8-4.

The goals came from Bilbulyan on a five-meter penalty shot and 5:53 left for a 6-3 lead, Bilbulyan on a 12-yarder at 4:44 remaining for a 7-3 cushion and Babelyan on an eight-yarder with 4:10 left for a five-goal lead.

Loo’s tally from seven yards and 3:18 showing in the third quarter sliced the lead to four goals.

Burbank and Arcadia each scored two goals in the fourth period as Loo’s five-yard with 6:38 left narrowed the lead to 8-5 while Bilbulyan’s seven-yarder and 5:55 left made it 9-6.

Logan Wong’s eight-yarder for the Apaches and 5:33 left shaved the lead to 9-6 before Bilbulyan’s 25-yarder with one second left made it 10-6.