With the CIF Southern Section playoffs, just two weeks away the Burbank High boys’ basketball team got to experience a playoff-like scenario Monday when visiting Pasadena High visited in a Pacific League contest.
Facing a full-court press and an opponent that moves the ball very quickly, Burbank fell 84-51.
“Games like this is why we’ve been successful in the playoffs,” Burbank coach Jamayne Potts said. “Playing teams like this helps us. Our league helps us for the playoffs. Pasadena is probably better than any team we’re going to face in the playoffs.”
When Burbank (15-8, 5-5) was able to break Pasadena’s press in the first half, junior Erik Harutyunyan was the player who got the ball in the open court.
He scored 17 of Burbank’s 26 first-half points.
“When you play an athletic team like this you have to take care of every possession and take care of the ball as much as you can,” Harutyunyan said. “You have to hit your open shots. That’s the formula you need to beat a great team like this.”
On the defensive end, Harutyunyan had the task of trying to guard Pasadena’s Bryce Hamilton, who is one of the top players in the nation. Hamilton has signed with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
“Obviously he’s a very tough player. I wish him all the best. It was very cool to compete against him,” Harutyunyan said. “We played as hard as we could and that’s all you can ask for.”
Hamilton, who finished with 20 points, played sparingly in the third quarter and did not play at all for the fourth quarter. He said his team (16-6, 9-1) benefitted from overcoming a loss in the league opener to Crescenta Valley.
“That game made us come out hungrier and not to take any team lightly,” Hamilton said.
Burbank trailed 24-11 at the end of the first quarter and 44-26 at halftime. Pasadena went on to lead 71-39 going into the fourth quarter.
Burbank got seven points from Jared Pasion, and five each from Xavier Davis, Justin De Sales and Sevak Mkrtchyan.
Chance Van Hook and Angel Ibarra each had four points. Tyrese Willis and Jalen Clark each had two points.