By Jim Riggio
Special to MyBurbank
If there is one thing that the Burbank High boys’ water polo team showed rival Burroughs Wednesday, it was that they were not the same team that faced the Indians nearly two months ago.
The visiting Bulldogs broke away from the Indians late in the first quarter and never looked back in a 16-8 Pacific League win.
“It was mostly JV and a few varsity players,” Burbank junior captain Artur Mheryan said of the first meeting between the two teams. “Not our whole team was there.”
Burroughs (3-19 overall, 0-6 in league) won, 16-10, over the Bulldogs in early September in a San Marino Tournament match. That was a ‘makeshift’ Burbank team. On Wednesday, Burbank’s ‘real’ varsity was on full display.
“It’s definitely a disappointing loss. I guess we were playing a completely different team,” Burroughs coach Michael Singhanate said surprisingly. “They didn’t look like they did when we played them the first time. We didn’t know that any of them were missing.”
Mheryan scored the first goal of the match just 26 seconds after the start. He went on to finish with six as he rotated roles of playing on offense and defense.
The two teams traded goals early on before the Bulldogs (8-14, 3-3) broke the deadlock at two as Mheryan fought off two defenders to give Burbank the 3-2 advantage.
The Indians got first quarter goals from Brian Beckman, Joey Fiorella and Daniel Garcia.
Burbank got a pair from Anthony Banjarjyan and one from Evan Senane.
It appeared that Burroughs might get back into the match early in the second quarter as a long distance shot by Garcia was partially blocked by a Burbank defender. The ball went high into the air and appeared to be headed over the goal only to unexpectedly drop in past Bulldogs goalie Peter Youssef.
The goal cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 6-4. But Burbank came right back as Mheryan assisted on three consecutive goals from Alex Airapetyan, Adam Lueneburg and Banjarjyan, respectively.
After being down 9-5 at halftime, Burroughs could never cut the gap to less than three goals.
Beckman’s goal with 3:13 left in the third quarter made it 10-7.
Burbank answered with three straight goals, two coming from Banjarjyan and one from Lueneburg. Banjarjyan finished with five goals.
“I think our guys got overwhelmed after the half. It came within a 3-point difference,” Singhanate said. “At one point we lost momentum.”
Mheryan was glad to win, but said his team needs to remain focused.
“It’s always great to beat our rivals. I’m real happy with this game,” he said. “Right now we’re focusing on (league) finals. We’ll see how that goes.”
Burbank hosts the Pacific League finals beginning next Tuesday. The top four teams advance to the CIF Division IV playoffs.