It’s still quite early, but the Burbank High boys’ hoop team is off to a fine start after Saturday’s 70-69 win over Golden Valley in the Burbank Basketball Winter Tournament where the Bulldogs placed third overall in the 10-team, six-day event.
Village Christian knocked off Renaissance 59-51 in the championship game later that night.
Pacing the Bulldogs (4-1) was senior shooting guard Ellie Hanno with 18 points, while junior small forward Faraz Khandaker tossed in 11.
Three chipped in with nine points and they included junior swingman Michael Woods, junior point guard Cameron Sweeten and senior point guard Cole Barton.
Burbank led 35-25 at the half, but Golden Valley outscored the Bulldogs 44-35 in the second half.
“It was more Golden Valley,” said first-year Burbank Coach Jamayne Potts of the second half. “We had 10 turnovers, five in each half, so we played pretty well. But we had foul trouble.”
Junior swingman Ben Chavez, Woods and Khandaker all had four fouls, which makes it difficult to play aggressively on offense and defense.
In Friday’s match against Roosevelt, the Bulldogs waltzed to a 65-48 triumph with Hanno scoring a team-high 16 points, while Sweeten finished with 11 points.
Burbank jumped off to a 17-8 lead after the opening period, and led 29-25 at the break as the Roughriders (17 of 35 from the field for 48.5 percent) outscored the Bulldogs, 17-12, in the second quarter.
Burbank played more smoothly in the second half after turning the ball over 11 times in the opening half. The Bulldogs forked over the basketball six times in the second half.
“I just told them to slow down and relax,” Potts said of the second-half improvement. “Slow down the tempo and we’ll be fine.”
Hanno had 10 points at the break while Sweeten dropped in six and Woods, along with junior shooting guard Henrik Anassian (four points), each had three points.
Potts had glowing words for Woods and Hanno. “I let him [Woods] play his game,” Potts said. “He passed the ball and had six assists. Ellie always plays hard. He’s the best shooter. He made 50 percent of his three pointers.” Hanno unloaded six from three-point range and drilled three.
Woods, who had eight points along with Khandaker, agreed with his coach. “We played much better in the second half because we slowed the pace down,” he said. “Everybody likes to play up- tempo and race down the floor. But we have to know when to do that. When we face a real athletic team, we can’t play that way. We’re going to have to slow the game down in order to win.”
Burbank made 15 of 39 shots from the floor for 38.4 percent and drilled 28 of 44 (63.6 percent) from the free-throw stripe as Hanno canned five of eight.
The final quarter featured Burbank attempting 20 charity attempts while hitting 14, with Sweeten making four, and Hanno and Chavez (six points) each nailing three.
Roosevelt (1-3) was led by sophomore center Jose Benitez with 17 points, while senior shooting guard Johnny Gomez contributed 16 points.
In earlier games, Burbank lost to Renaissance 51-49 on Thursday with Sweeten tallying 15 points while Woods contributed 11 and eight rebounds.
On Wednesday, the Bulldogs routed Pacific Hills 73-33 behind Hanno’s 12 points and Khandaker’s 10 points with four assists.
On Tuesday, Burbank thrashed Stockdale 72-44 as Khandaker’s 22 points and four assists led the way.