By Rick Assad
For most of the game, the Burroughs High boys’ basketball squad trailed Muir in a Pacific League match at Brian Hurst gym on Friday evening.
That hard work paid off when the Bears evened the match at 63-63 on a free throw from senior guard Tyrell Burrell with 1:10 remaining before falling 70-65 as the Mustangs outscored the hosts 7-2 across the final minute.
Burrell did everything in his power for the Bears (9-15 and 3-7 in league) as he scored a team-high 19 points including nine points in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore guard Jagger Topp contributed four three-pointers en route to 14 points for the Bears and senior guard Sam Horning tossed in 12 points.
It wasn’t enough to offset senior point/shooting guard Saadaq Moore, who chimed in for 21 points with six coming in the fourth period when the Mustangs made five of 10 from the floor for 50 percent and five of eight from the free-throw line for 62.5 percent.
When sophomore guard Landon Everhart (five points) added a hoop for the bears it cut the lead to 53-51 with 6:45 left in the fourth period and Burrell’s three-pointer with 6:10 on the clock sliced the advantage to 55-54.
Everhart’s basket with 5:11 remaining shaved the lead to 58-57 and Burrell’s three-pointer with 2:40 on the ticker trimmed the cushion to 61-60.
The Bears dug an early deficit in the opening frame as they trailed 21-10 after the first eight minutes and 34-25 at halftime.
“We need to shoot the ball better. Too many missed layups and open shots,” Burroughs coach Allan Ellis said. “I thought we executed our sets pretty well but couldn’t finish the plays that would’ve changed the outcome of the game.”
The Bears made 10 of 31 shots in the opening half for 32.2 percent and 13 of 31 for 41.9 percent in the second half.
The Mustangs employed a press early in the game and it bothered the Bears at times.
Muir led 53-45 after three periods but saw the Bears outscore the visitors 20-17 in the fourth period.
Moore’s seven points lifted the Mustangs (11-11 and 6-4 in league) to the 11-point first quarter lead but was limited to two points in the second period.
Moore, who scored 12 of his points in the second half, came out with a six-point third quarter.
The Mustangs converted 11 of 21 in the second half for 52.3 percent after making 13 of 30 for 43.3 percent in the first half.
Moore received an offensive assist from senior small forward Marquis Moore (nine points), who scored five points in the third stanza.
“I thought the team battled and competed throughout and I was proud of them for that,” Ellis said.
Muir outrebounded Burroughs 44-29 and made 16 of 24 from the charity line for 66.6 percent, compared to seven of 14 for 50 percent for the Bears.
Junior forward Chase Kardosh had seven points for the Bears, junior guard Arthur Gabrielyan scored three points, sophomore guard Jacob Samontina contributed three points and senior guard Elden Jackson had two points.
The Bears hammered 12 from three-point range and the Mustangs tossed in six three-pointers.