Tag Archives: Alex Lewin

Burroughs Boys Water Polo Uses Second Half To Win 20-7 Over Burbank

By Rick Assad

An offensive tsunami in the second half and a suffocating defense in two of the four quarters were at the crux of the Burroughs High boys’ water polo team routing host Burbank 20-7 in the Pacific League regular-season finale on Wednesday afternoon in front of a jammed-packed audience.

Seven players scored for the Indians (11-6 and 4-2 in league), but none stood taller than senior utility Vahagan Sahakyan, who chimed in with a match-best nine goals, including seven in the second half when Burroughs outscored Burbank 15-2.

Burbank’s Pavel Tantchev, shown in a recent Pacific League match, scored a goal against Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We just yelled at them a little bit, stuff they were getting complacent on,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said of the second half offensive deluge. We got it together.”

Not too far behind was sophomore utility Xavier Turla, who added six goals for the Indians, who shut out the Bulldogs in the first and fourth quarters.

The Indians led 5-0 heading into the second frame, but the Bulldogs (5-12 and 1-5 in league) dropped in five goals and evened it at 5-5 at the intermission.

Junior utility Ryan Jaramillo’s six-footer with 5:16 left was the first tally of the match before Turla buzzed in one from 10 feet with 2:39 left to make it 2-0.

Turla’s five-footer with 27 seconds left extended the lead to 3-0. When Sahakyan drilled a six-footer with 11 seconds left, the Indians’ cushion was 4-0.

Burroughs slid ahead 5-0 on Sahakyan’s tally and 6:38 left in the second frame. Burbank (2-14 and 1-4 in league) scored the next five goals as junior driver Grigor Gasabian nailed a 10-footer as 6:08 remained.

The Indians were tied 5-5 at the half with the Bulldogs, but exploded for 15 goals in the second half. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sophomore driver Pavel Tantchev scored on a 10-foot laser and 3:50 left and was followed by a 12-footer with 2:24 on the ticker by sophomore driver Jonathan Agazaryan.

Gasabian’s 20-foot tally with 47 seconds left made it 5-4 while Agazaryan 12-footer found the back of the net 28 seconds later that knotted it at 5-5.

“We weren’t responding to their counters,” first-year Burbank coach Mike Lucero said. “We were in the game. They [Burroughs] kept scoring off of every counter.”

How did the Bulldogs rally in the second quarter? “They were moving more and they were running the plays they were supposed to run,” Lucero said.

The Indians came out and scored the first four goals of the third quarter and led 9-5. Sahakyan’s point-blank goal with 6:03 left made it 6-5 and junior utility Alex Lewin’s two-footer with 5:23 showing pushed the advantage to 7-5.

Sahakyan’s point-blank shot with 4:50 remaining saw the Indians dart in front 8-5 and Turla’s three-footer made it a four-goal lead and 3:29 remaining.

The Bulldogs broke the spell when senior driver Kouroush Dolatshani knocked in an eight-footer with 2:42 on the clock as Burbank came within 9-6.

Two goals followed for the Indians as Sahakyan’s 10-footer with 1:36 left made it 10-6 and senior attacker Tobey Ho’s five-footer 27 seconds later extended the lead to 11-6.

Sophomore driver Avo Barsegyan scored from 12 feet for the Bulldogs as 26 seconds remained that made it 11-7, while Sahakyan’s 12-footer five seconds later pushed it to a five-goal lead.

An eight-goal outburst highlighted the fourth quarter as Sahakyan and Turla each scored three goals.

Sahakyan hammered two 10-foot goals including one with 6:18 left that made it 13-7 and one with 5:26 on the clock for a 14-7 lead.

Turla’s six-footer with 4:53 on the timer made it 15-7 and Sahakyan’s eight-footer 17 seconds later expanded the advantage to 16-7.

Turla’s six-footer 39 seconds later extended the Indians’ lead to 10 goals. Senior attacker Chet Conlan’s close-range goal with 2:50 left made it 18-7 and Turla’s point-blank tally with 1:53 on the clock shoved the Indians ahead 19-7.

Junior utility Miguel Martinez capped off the offensive outburst with a six-footer as 41 seconds remained.

Senior Arthur Eldridge and senior David Karagezyan each played exceptional in goal for Burroughs, while Burbank senior net-keeper Sarkis Terpetrossyan was under duress for much of the day.

The next order of business for both schools is the league tournament which begins on Tuesday at Arcadia and concludes on October 31.

Burroughs, Burbank Boys Water Polo Ready For Action

By Rick Assad

 

There’s a saying that it’s hard getting to the top, but it’s even more difficult staying there.

This axiom doesn’t necessarily apply to the Burroughs High boys’ water polo team because while it hasn’t always been at the very top of the Pacific League standings, the Indians have usually been in the top portion.

Looking at rival Burbank’s boys’ water polo program, the same can’t be said, but then again, matters can and do change.

If practice makes perfect, then the Burbank High boys’ water polo team is headed in the right direction. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

This season, Burroughs will pay a visit to Burbank’s pool on October 23.

Another important date is the league preliminaries which take place at the Arcadia pool on October 29.

The league finals is at the same site, but will be held October 31.

The CIF Southern Section playoffs will be contested on November 5, 7, 9, 12 and 16.

Coach Jacob Cook has built and sustained an excellent program at Burroughs and this year’s edition should at least contend for the top spot in the league.

“I have high expectations for the season,” Cook said. “We have a talented group this year with a lot of talent and potential. I’m excited to see what we can do.”

Last year the Indians went 13-10 overall and 5-4 in league action, but lost in the CIF first round.

Burroughs, shown in a 2018 match against rival Burbank, look to better its 5-4 record in the Pacific League. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The projected starters for Burroughs will be senior goalie Arthur Eldridge, senior attacker Chet Conlan, senior attacker Tobey Ho, senior center Matthew Mucha, senior utility Vahagan Sahakyan, junior utility Ryan Jaramillo and sophomore utility Xavier Turla.

Here are the rest of the Burroughs upperclassmen and they include Jon Paul De Fabry, David Karagezyan, Nathan Magdaleno and Aaron Meza.

The juniors on the team are Fox Melo, Miguel Martinez and Alex Lewin, while sophomore Andrew Chapman and freshman Ryan Rolando are also on the squad.

Mike Lucero is the Burbank Aquatics Director and the first-year coach for the boys’ and girls’ water polo teams.

Lucero has been around and was the assistant swim coach for the Burbank boys’ and girls’ programs the last two years.

Mike Lucero is in his first season as the Burbank boys’ and girls’ water polo coach. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In order to compete with the better teams in the league like Hoover, Glendale and Crescenta Valley, Lucero said it’s important to get faster in the water.

“We’re working on having some speed work,” Lucero said. “You need speed to keep up with teams like Crescenta Valley.”

Lucero then added: “I want to see the water polo team be a year-round program and the players stay with their conditioning. I want to see more team unity,” he said.

Lucero also wants to build a program that will be viable and contend. “Some of these club programs, major swim programs, these swimmers are starting at nine, 10, 11,” he said. “Here they’re coming in at 14. And for the first time they’re learning the basics of water polo.”

Burbank is coming off a campaign in which it went 8-10, failed to make the postseason and doesn’t have many seniors, but it does have players familiar with each other.

A four-year starter and a 2018 Burbank graduate, Varuzhan Bilbulyan is the Bulldogs’ assistant water polo coach.

The Indians, shown in a match versus the Bulldogs, have the talent to do well overall and in the Pacific League. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“This year we see a lot of young athletes that we have on both varsity and JV contributing a lot of hard work and we see a lot more attentiveness and a bigger drive than in past years to get better and improve themselves,” Bilbulyan said. “We see a very good attitude and very good behavior. Everybody is trying their best and everyone is getting better day by day.”

Bilbuyan went on: “This year’s powerhouses are probably going to be Hoover. They always have a lot of club players,” he said. “Glendale is also going to be good and they have club players. CV’s been good the last couple of years. We can finish in the top five, but our goal is top four so that we’re guaranteed to make the playoffs.”

Seven seniors populate the squad and they include driver Hakop Pilavjyan, driver Sahak Khobiarian, driver Ashot Keshishyan, driver Artush Hovannisyan, driver Edward Bowman, driver Kourosh Dolatshahi and goalie Sarkis Terpetrossyan.

There are four juniors and they are driver Brian Di Mascio, driver Grigor Gasabian, driver Michael Mehserdjian and setter Anthony Sarafian.

Five sophomores are on the team and they include driver Avo Barsegyan, driver Pavel Tantchev, driver Jonathan Agazaryan, setter Robert Kharazyan and goalie Narek Galamdaryan.

Seryozha Soghomonyan is also on the team after being promoted to the varsity at the end of July.