Burbank Knocks Off Arcadia in Pacific League Opener

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Rick Assad
Special to BurbankNBeyond

Burbank High’s full-court press worked to near perfection in the first half of its Pacific League opener against visiting Arcadia, but not so well in the second half as the Bulldogs had to hold off the hard-charging and determined Apaches, 52-46, on Friday night.

Peter Wongsasitorn defends an Arcadia player (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Andy Yanikyan scored a game-high 20 points, and Richard Elmoyan added 10 points for the Bulldogs, who converted 22 of 52 shots from the floor (42.3 percent) and outrebounded the Apaches, 34-32.

“We were having a problem with their zone in the second half,” said Yanikyan, who tallied 12 points over the first 16 minutes. “They were playing very intense. In the second half they played more like a team.”

Burbank (9-5, 1-0) led 18-9 after the opening quarter as Yanikyan scored eight points, while Elmoyan and Adam Pasco (six points) each dropped in four points.

The Bulldogs stretched their advantage to 31-16 at the break with Yanikyan coming through with four points in the second quarter.

“We had a similar game against Grant [a 54-49 victory],” Burbank Coach Jerry DeLaurie said. “We had a big lead at the half against a good City Section team and we had to hang on for the win. Tonight we didn’t have the energy. We were looking at the scoreboard and we became complacent. We thought the game was over.”

It clearly wasn’t as Arcadia came out of the locker room for the second half a renewed team despite the sizeable deficit.

Arcadia’s Kevin Gill (five points) began the third quarter by draining a three-pointer, but the Apaches (5-9, 0-1) then missed their next four shots before Brian Taylor (seven points) scored.

Burbank Bulldogs basketball (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Ben Bowen’s put-back hoop trimmed the Bulldogs advantage to 31-23 with 4:25 showing, but Arcadia, which made 13 of 28 from the field (46.4 percent) in the second half, couldn’t locate the basket on its next two tries.

Gill again came to the rescue as he scored late as did Jordan Stellern (four points). Stephen Smith’s trey got the Apaches (21 of 54 for 38.8 percent) within 44-31 entering the fourth quarter.

“We’ve got a lot of seniors but they haven’t played on the varsity,” Arcadia Coach Ben Cordeiro said. “We did a great job in the second half. We challenged them in the second half and they forced a lot of turnovers.”

Burbank had a successful third quarter drilling six of 11 from the field including the last three shots as Elmoyan scored four points and Yanikyan two.

Arcadia’s furious fourth quarter rally began with Smith (nine points) scoring four points early in the stanza and Bowen (team-high 14 points) tacking on seven points including a basket with 4:18 left that cut Burbank’s lead to 44-42.

The Bulldogs came out for the final quarter and were inept early on, missing their first five attempts before Sarkis Karian’s steal at midcourt and layup gave Burbank a 46-42 lead.

DeLaurie, however, was pleased with Burbank’s ability to stand in the lane and take a charge.

“We had two this game, and I think we’ve taken something like 19 this season,” he said. “That’s pretty good.”

The Bulldogs prevailed in their Pacific League opener (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank returns to action at home on Monday against Pasadena at 5 p.m.

In other Pacific League games, Glendale defeated Burroughs, 62-46. The Indians were outscored 20-7 in the second quarter and never recovered. The Nitros connected on 10 three-pointers in the contest.

Lawrence White led JBHS with 17 points while Jorge Flores-Pere added 11. Burroughs hosts Hoover on Monday at 5 p.m.