By Rick Assad
In grand and spectacular fashion and wearing the University of Indiana’s candy striped warm up pants introduced by the recently departed Bob Knight, the coach during the 1971-1972 season, his first for the Hoosiers, the Austin Pope Era at Burroughs High began and was on full display and featured a sizzling 26-point third quarter that led to a 75-59 thumping of visiting Arleta in a nonleague boys’ basketball game on Monday night.
Pope is a former Burbank High basketball player and seemed excited and ready for the game.
“It was just our guys settling into the game and letting the nerves settle,” Pope said of that momentum changing third quarter. “We got a chance to play our basketball for a quarter and it looked great. A lot more work to do.”
Four players scored in double figures for the Bears including junior shooting/point guard Jagger Topp, who nailed seven three-pointers and finished with a game-best 23 points in the season opener for both teams.
Senior small forward Chase Kardosh, who transferred from Burbank High, dropped 17 points.
Junior power forward Landon Everhart tossed in 16 points and junior point guard Jacob Samontina added 12 points.
The Bears (1-0) shot 57.1 percent from the field after making 12 of 21 shots in the third quarter as the hosts also canned two of their 10 three-pointers.
Samontina knocked in eight points in the period, Everhart tallied six points and Topp scored five points.
Samontina’s hoop with 5:05 left in the quarter gave the Bears a 44-36 lead and a bucket from Kardosh extended the advantage to 48-36 with 4:25 remaining in the frame.
The Bears led 61-43 heading into the fourth period and seemed to be in total control.
Arleta had just six players in uniform, which means it had one reserve and this factored in the team wearing down in the second half.
The Bears, who made 30 of 68 from the floor for 44.1 percent, outscored the Mustangs 26-9 in the third period but Arleta fought back by outscoring Burroughs 16-14 in the fourth frame.
Junior guard Emiliano Lopez led the way for the Mustangs (0-1) with 15 points and had 11 points in the first half as Arleta trailed 35-34 at halftime.
Senior guard Antonio Ruiz accounted for 11 points and senior guard/forward Abraham Soto added 10 for the Mustangs, who converted 24 of 58 shots for 41.3 percent.
The opening period was knotted at 18-18 as Kardosh tallied six points and Everhart had five points, while junior guard Joaquin Corleto, who scored nine points, drained two of his three treys for the Mustangs, which had six treys overall.
Topp converted three from three-point range for nine points in the second period and Kardosh had five points.
Lopez made three hoops for six points in the second quarter and junior guard Jorge Valdovinos scored four of his nine points and Ruiz tacked on four points.
Topp drained his last two three-pointers in the fourth period and Soto scored six points.
Giordan Lewis hit a three-pointer for his only points for Burroughs while senior guard Arthur Gabrielyan and freshman guard Owen Everhart each tossed in two points.
Burroughs converted five of 10 free throws for 50 percent and Arleta made three of seven for 42.8 percent and also outrebounded the Mustangs, 37-30.
Though it was the Bears’ first game, it was a good way to begin the season and Pope’s career as Burroughs head coach.