Certainly, nobody wanted to play in front of an empty gymnasium Thursday night when Burbank High visited Burroughs in the lone Pacific League boys’ basketball contest of the season.
But the two teams did just that as fans were not allowed due to the recent rise in Covid-19 cases. Playing an open game that did produce a single free-throw attempt in the first half, the host Bears earned a 61-48 victory.
“We’re very athletic defensively and we are using that to our advantage. Defensively I thought we did a fantastic job. Our defensive pressure was phenomenal,” Burroughs coach Allan Ellis said.
Due to the rise in Covid-19 cases, the Pacific League schedule has changed and every team is playing one another just once.
Burbank coach Sid Cooke credited Burroughs but said his team has been affected by injuries and players out due to the pandemic.
“Our kids were just worn down. We just don’t have the bodies and we are mentally worn down,” he said. “They were the better team. They were quicker to the ball.”
Burroughs (9-6 overall, 3-3 in league) got a jumper from Chase Walker at the buzzer to end the first quarter to give his team a 16-14 lead.
From then on Burroughs never trailed in the contest. The Bears opened the second quarter with a pair of three-pointers, one from Jagger Topp and one from Jeilon Jackson.
“We have a tendency to shoot a lot of three-point shots. We need to shoot them more consistently. We didn’t shoot our best game. If we did, I think we would have scored a lot more,” Ellis said.
Burroughs went up 33-26 at halftime and increased its lead to 42-28 after another Jeilon Jackson three-pointer. He led all scorers with 18 points.
But Burbank fought back to make it 47-43 going into the fourth quarter. Arman Danielian led the charge by scoring six points for the Bulldogs in the quarter.
Burroughs had too much in the fourth quarter. A three-pointer by Desean Robinson with 5:19 to play once again gave the Bears a double-digit lead as they went up 56-46.
Burbank (5-9, 2-5) remained tough but was unable to get any closer.
Burroughs got 10 points from Walker. Nick Schlander finished with nine points. TJ Lumpkin and Robinson each had eight. Sam Horning had five points and Elias Pavia finished with three.
Burbank was led by Sattwick Banerjee who had 15 points. Phoenix Mosely and Danielian finished with 10 points each. Alex Emami had seven points and Nathan Contreras had six.