An extraordinary effort was required and one was rendered by the Burroughs High boys’ basketball team in Friday’s CIF Southern Section Division I-A second-round match against visiting Beaumont.
The next challenge for the Indians is a quarterfinal game at Vista Murrieta on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. start.
After a pedestrian opening quarter that saw the Indians trail by a single point, what followed was three quarters in which they outscored the Cougars 53-26 and finished with a 68-42 pasting after making 20 of 33 field goal attempts for 60.6 percent.
Four players reached double digits for the Indians including senior shooting guard Steven Hubbell, who scored a game-best 17 points, senior point guard Ross Lee III (14 points), junior power forward Tristen Hull (14 points) and senior small forward Angelo Solis (12 points).
“It was a great win,” said Hubbell, who had five assists with four steals and drained two three-pointers. “Today was our best game. All the players were clicking. We had to be focused on being calm and we wanted to match their tempo.”
Front and center was Burroughs’ defensive pressure that was applied throughout with the guards and forwards meeting the opposition at midcourt in many instances and caused numerous turnovers.
The shooting and ball-handling were superb as the Indians made 25 of 46 from the floor for 54.3 percent and had five turnovers after three quarters and finished with 10.
Burroughs Coach Adam Hochberg was asked if this was his team’s best overall game considering the opponent.
“Yes, I’ve have to say that it is,” he said. “We knew that looking at film what we could do. We’re battle tested and we’re capable of being the best team we could possibly be.”
Hochberg went on: “This was a great team effort,” he pointed out. “We had a great effort on the glass and we wanted to shut down No. 10 [senior Derreck Affor].”
The Cougars (24-4 and 8-2 for second in the Mountain Pass League) are the real deal as they came into Friday night’s encounter with a 17-2 record over their last 19 games.
The Indians (21-7 and third place in the Pacific League at 9-5) entered the fray having captured eight of their last 11 games and also faced a significant height and weight disadvantage.
The key quarter was the second as the Indians made nine of 13 with six players scoring as Hull tallied six points, while Hubbell and senior small forward Angelo Solis each added four points.
The Indians led at the intermission 36-23 after making 14 of 26 and all six free throws and allowing Beaumont (16 of 45 for 35.5 percent) to score seven points and hitting only three of 10 from the field.
The second half began with Burroughs, which converted 12 of 17 from the free-throw line, continuing to shoot well from the floor as it made five of 11.
In the frame, Lee III came alive with eight points that included the first of three from three-point distance.
The Indians drilled six of nine in the fourth quarter and outscored the Cougars 18-7 with Lee III (six assists and three steals) hitting two three-pointers, Hubbell nailing a trey and a free throw and Hull tossing in two buckets.
“The first time I saw them [Beaumont], they’re a physically imposing team,” said Hull, who contributed five assists, three steals and one block. “But I knew that the guys would be there. Angelo played an amazing game. I knew that we were going to do whatever it takes to win the game.”
Solis had a strong outing after grabbing 11 rebounds with two blocks and one steal.
Beaumont led 16-15 after the initial quarter after hitting five of 10 from the field and six of six from the charity line with four players scoring four points.
The Cougars, who sank 10 of 18 from the throw line, were paced by Affor, who had 14 points and senior Darnell Eaves with 10 points.
The other Indians who scored were junior wing Justin Henderson with four points, senior point guard Eric Allen with three points, and senior guards Nick Howard and Jordan Bridges with two points each.