By Rick Assad
It took one quarter before the Burroughs High boys’ basketball team found its footing.
Once it did, the Bears then delivered a 20-point second quarter, and from that point forward were well on their way to a 76-51 rout of visiting Hoover in the Pacific League opener for both on Friday night.
Burroughs was led by Sam Horning’s game-best 18 points that included three from three-point range.
Nick Schlander dropped in three treys and added 15 points for the Bears and T.J. Lumpkin tossed in 12 points with 14 rebounds.
Lumpkin’s follow-up basket with 5:57 remaining in the third period gave Burroughs a 38-23 advantage.
After tallying nine points, the Bears outscored the Tornadoes by nine points in the next period and seized control 29-22 at the intermission. Burroughs took command 55-30 after three frames.
“It’s the way we practice. Sometimes we start off slow and then we pick it up in practice and we’ve been trying to fix that during practice and it’s kind of carrying over to the games,” Burroughs coach Allan Ellis said of the slow start.
Ellis spoke about the productive week, which wasn’t easy. “They’ve also had three games this week and they had a really tough game against Moorpark yesterday,” he said. “Their legs and their energy level weren’t there in the first quarter. But once they realized they had to pick it up, they started to pick it up. We just have to get off to a better start. We played with pace and with energy in the second half.”
An important statistic was that the Bears (3-0 and 1-0 in league) outrebounded the Tornadoes 50-38 which allowed the hosts to get off 22 more shots from the floor.
This helped in a big way because the Bears shot 40.2 percent from the field (29 of 74), which isn’t outstanding, but was much better than what the Tornadoes shot.
Riding the wave of the second frame which featured Schandler tossing in 12 points, Burroughs exploded for 26 points in the third frame behind Lumpkin’s 12 points.
And for good measure, the Bears then added 21 points in the fourth period as reserves Jagger Topp and Noah Valdez each accounted for six points.
The Tornadoes (3-5 and 0-1 in league) struggled to put the ball in the hoop most of the evening, making 17 of 52 for 32.6 percent. The only exception was the fourth quarter when they dropped 21 points.
Hoover actually led 17-13 with 5:05 left in the second quarter when senior guard Allen Akopyan (11 points) scored.
This cushion would be erased after the Bears outscored Hoover 16-5 over the next five-plus minutes.
On the night, the Bears canned seven three-pointers, while the Tornadoes failed to find the range.
Hoover’s offensive leaders were senior point guard/small forward Michael Fernandez-Washington and sophomore point guard Zack Van Patten, as each finished with 13 points.
Fernandez-Washington scored nine points in the second half that included six points in the fourth period as the Tornadoes drilled nine of 26 attempts for 34.6 percent.
Van Patten chipped in seven points in the first half when the visitors converted eight of 26 for 30.7 percent.
DeSean Robinson had eight points, Elias Pavia tossed in seven and Elden Jackson added four points for the Bears.