By Jim Riggio
Special to BurbankNBeyond
Burroughs High senior Lawrence White will not know for a couple more days whether or not he has played his last high school basketball game.
If he has White made it one to remember as he scored a game-high 23 points as Burroughs earned a 53-44 Pacific League road victory over Burbank High Thursday night.
“We came together and played like a team as if it was our last game, which it could be,” White said. “I’m proud of my team. After losing the first game to Burbank, we were hungry. We came out and played our hardest.”
Burroughs (15-11, 5-9 in league) will have to hope to earn an at-large berth when the CIF Southern Section Division IA playoff pairings are announced on Sunday afternoon. The Indians exacted revenge the second time around after Burbank won the first clash, 55-52.
“I think we have a better chance now that we won this game,” White said. “Hopefully we get in.”
Burbank (15-12, 7-7) has secured a playoff spot by finishing fourth in the eight-team Pacific League.
Both teams struggled getting the ball in the basket in the early going.
Burroughs led 10-2 at end of the first quarter as Kyle Roberts hit a half-court shot to beat the buzzer.
The Indians went up 13-2 on a basket by Kalen Verhoeven, before Burbank went on a 14-2 run to take a 16-15 lead.
Both teams fought back and forth for the remainder of the half. Burroughs went into the intermission with a 26-24 lead.
Burbank appeared to be pulling away late in the third quarter when it took a 38-32 lead following a pair of free throws by Richard Elmoyan.
But a John Cutone three-pointer cut the Bulldogs lead to 38-35 going into the final period.
Burbank hit a dry spell in the fourth quarter, going 3:11 without a point. During that span Burroughs turned a 40-38 deficit into a 46-40 lead.
“We had a good start and a good finish,” Burroughs Coach Adam Hochberg said. “I truly feel we controlled a lot of the flow of the game and our half-court trap bothered them.”
Cutone hit another key three-pointer with 48 seconds left to push Burroughs’ lead to 49-42.
“We’ve been trying to get better mentally all year. This is a nice win,” Hochberg added. “Hopefully we can move forward and get an at-large bid. Hopefully we’re guaranteed at least 32 more minutes.”
Sarkis Karium led Burbank with 13 points. Greg Salas had nine points for the Bulldogs.
Roberts and Jorge Flores Pere each had seven points for Burroughs.