Tag Archives: boys basketball

Rick’s Sports Corner: Emery Goulet, Burroughs High Hoops Leader, Scorer

By Rick Assad

Emery Goulet was often tasked with providing two important ingredients to the Burroughs High boys’ basketball team over the two seasons in which he was a starter and they were shooting and scoring points.

But it was a third element the recent graduate delivered that was perhaps even more vital and that was providing floor guidance.

“I think my biggest role on the team was my leadership,” said Goulet, a 6-foot shooting guard/small forward who averaged about 15 points with five rebounds this past season and 22 points with five caroms the previous campaign. “I was a captain my junior and senior year and my teammates needed my hard work and drive and encouragement to help them out. I also think that I needed to be a scorer, too, at times, but the leadership was most important, especially this year.”

Goulet, who is attending UC Berkeley and majoring in Urban Studies, was heady and knew when it was time to score, play defense and get the team going in the right direction.

“I try and provide energy and light a fire under my guys and build confidence,” he said. “Confidence is such a huge part of basketball. The confidence and energy helps our runs and being sound on defense.”

A recent graduate, Emery Goulet (No. 11) is about to get a pass. A sharpshooter, the UC Berkeley freshman was a floor leader. (Photo courtesy Emery Goulet)

During the initial meeting with Goulet, Allan Ellis, the Indians’ hoop coach felt that he was going to be an impact player, both on the floor and in the locker room.

“From the moment Emery stepped on the practice court as a freshman, all the coaches fell in love with his competitiveness, effort and ability to be extremely coachable,” Ellis said. “Not to mention his ability to shoot and run the floor. Emery was a delight to coach from the time he stepped on the court to the time he left. One of the best players and an even better kid since I started coaching at Burroughs.”

Though Goulet’s basketball career has concluded, he was drawn to the game because it offered so much.

“I like that it’s a team sport, having your guys with you is an empowering feeling,” he said. “I like that it’s a game of runs and just that you can create your own shot. It’s freeing being able to play the game.”

But it was launching the basketball that really excited Goulet, who was named Most Valuable Player by the team as a junior and selected All-Pacific League, first team and Player of the Month. “I’m a shooter. I love to shoot. That’s part of my love for the game, too,” he noted.

The Indians, including Emery Goulet, getting ready for another basketball game. (Photo courtesy Emery Goulet)

Goulet then added: “I think my ability to shoot and create my own shot were my best assets on the floor,” he said. “Also being able to run the floor was a big part of my game, too.”

Like so many college students, Goulet is taking his first year virtually because of the coronavirus.

“COVID-19 has greatly affected me. I wasn’t able to finish out high school at school and have a traditional graduation that other years prior always had,” he said. “It also made me stay home for at least this first semester of college, where I’ll be doing everything online.”

An excellent student who maintained a 4.0 grade-point average throughout all four years, Goulet gave some insight into how he spends his day studying.

“I organized my schedule so where my classes are generally in the morning, so I have the rest of the day to do homework and have time for myself,” he said. “I typically try and get all of my work out of the way to give myself the rest of the day and not worry about assignments. But if I’m slammed one day, I’ll take intermittent breaks about an hour at a time.”

Emery Goulet, who averaged 15 points as a senior and 22 points as a junior, is shown guarding the wing. (Photo courtesy Emery Goulet)

Looking back, Goulet has no regrets about how his three-year varsity hoop tenure progressed, including a CIF Southern Section Division III A opening-round 55-45 setback to St. Bonaventure as a senior.

“I was pleased with how my basketball career went. I had a great support system with my family [father Derrick and mother Amy] and was surrounded by some great coaches and great teammates,” he pointed out. “It was great to be able to do what I loved every day.”

Some games stood especially tall, like those versus longtime city rival Burbank, which Goulet, who was the Student of the Month in his Calculus class, deemed to be unforgettable.

“I think the Burbank game at Burroughs my junior year and the one at Burbank my senior year were two highlights,” he said. “Electric atmosphere, really good games, just a lot of fun to be a part of. I played well in those games, too, and that always helps.”

The Indians, who went 19-10 and 7-7 in Pacific League action this past season, blitzed host Burbank 70-57 on January 10, but were edged at home 46-42 on February 12 by the Bulldogs.

During Goulet’s junior campaign, Burroughs finished 11-16 and 4-10 in league play and didn’t make the postseason.

That year, the Indians took their first encounter with the visiting Bulldogs 66-61 on January 11, but fell 83-49 on January 31 to their rival.

Burroughs failed to make the playoffs in 2017-2018, when Goulet, who was part of the California Scholarship Federation and was given the History Award at graduation, came off the bench as a sophomore as the Indians went 12-14 and 3-11 in league.

Of course there seemed to be added pressure in those rivalry games because they were against Burbank.

“I will remember the crowd and atmosphere of those games the most, there was nothing like it,” he said of those clashes. “I loved those games and those moments. So much fun.”

In the end, every game, not just Burroughs versus Burbank, were important for Goulet.

“I tried to just mentally prepare for a battle, never take any game lightly,” he reasoned. “I would try and do the same stretches and listen to the same songs before my games.”

Goulet said this ritual really helped his confidence level. “I was pretty superstitious when it came to basketball,” he admitted. “And then I’d go in and give 100 percent every time I go in there.”

Doing anything well takes years of dedication along with hours of practice and the result can be supreme confidence.

“I think my work ethic, drive and determination helped me succeed the most,” Goulet said. “I always wanted to be the best on the court and wouldn’t stop till I was. That drive helped me get to the level I was at.”

Rick’s Sports Corner: How COVID-19 Wreaked Havoc On Local Sports Teams

By Rick Assad

Eight months into 2020, it’s safe to say that it has been an ugly and harrowing year.

It began ominously, when, just before Oregon outlasted Wisconsin 28-27 in the Rose Bowl Game on New Year’s Day, it was announced that David Stern, the longtime NBA Commissioner, whose 30-year reign helped popularize basketball around the world, had died at 77.

Twenty-five days later, on an overcast Sunday morning, Kobe Bryant, age 41, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others perished on their way to a youth basketball game in a helicopter crash in Calabasas.

The news didn’t get any better when in January, a mysterious virus was infecting and killing thousands of people.

The World Health Organization named this virus, COVID-19 on February 11.

A fall sport, football won’t begin until January. (Photo by Ross A Benson)

Nothing like it had been seen since the Spanish Flu infected 500 million people worldwide from February 1918 until April 1920 and killed between 17 to 50 million people.

It was one of the most deadly pandemics the world had ever witnessed.

On March 12, COVID-19 became real in the United States when the NCAA decided to cancel the highly-popular and highly-profitable men’s basketball tournament.

The NBA, NHL and MLS followed suit and suspended their seasons. MLB was holding exhibition games, but sent its players home, weeks before the baseball season was set to begin on March 26.

COVID-19 didn’t spare anything in its way and that includes high school sports. The following week, I was scheduled to cover a Burbank High girls’ volleyball match.

Patrick McMenamin, the Burbank co-athletic director and math teacher, said it would be played, but with no fans in the stands and no media.

High school classes in Burbank and elsewhere became virtual and all sports were put on hold.

I’ve covered high school athletics for three decades, including eight years at this website.

Basketball will be put on hold until March 2021. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

You get to know athletes, coaches and administrators. I started thinking how awful it must be for a senior to not be able to finish out their athletic career on the field or court.

Being a prep athlete isn’t easy, as it takes  skill to juggle sports, academics and a social life.

Doug Nicol, the longtime softball coach at Burroughs, chimed in with his thoughts on what it was like to have the season end.

“It’s been extremely hard. The bonds that you build and share with your players. It is hard to just put that aside,” he said. “It was an abrupt stop. Stopped us in midseason so that made it even harder. We were just starting to come together and build our culture back up. To have it stop so suddenly was really hard.”

Nicol also knew it would be difficult news for the seniors. “I feel for our four seniors because all four were performing at such a high level and giving me 100 percent,” said Nicol, who is in his second tour of duty as coach. “They were so bought in and invested and it was hard to not let them finish. Third baseman Memorie [Munoz], pitcher Sidnie [Dabbadie], center fielder Isabella [Kam] and right fielder Sabrina [Englebrecht] laid the groundwork last year for our foundation and any success we have next year, they will be a part of.”

Baseball was interrupted in March because of COVID-19. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The football season, which usually begins in late August or early September, will begin in January.

Adam Colman, the Burbank football coach, said he expects his team to be ready, but realizes there will be roadblocks.

“It’s obviously been a challenge and very different, but we’ve tried to approach it with optimism and as an opportunity,” he said. “One of our core values is resiliency and what better way to work on that then in this setting. We’re focused on working on the mental side of the game and linking it to handling any adversity life throws at you.”

Colman feels confident that his players will be prepared when the games commence.

“Our team has responded tremendously. They’ve taken initiative and many are working out on their own, staying active and engaged, watching film and asking questions, reviewing the playbook and all that,” he said. “So as much as I miss being out there with our team, and I think everyone misses it, we’re really focused on controlling what we can control. Complaining and being upset about it doesn’t do anything, so we might as well use it as an opportunity to grow and get better.”

Allan Ellis, the Burroughs boys’ basketball coach, is looking and hoping for the best despite what lies ahead.

Softball hopes to begin its season in 2021, like the other sports. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“COVID-19, the pandemic, quarantine, school closures, business closures, it’s taken a toll on me personally, and our team, players as a whole, as it has with a lot of people,” he said. “But myself and my coaches always try to teach our players that, we don’t make excuses and we don’t dwell on problems. We look for solutions. And we also must remind ourselves that there are people dying, suffering and livelihoods being affected at the same time, to keep everything in perspective.”

Ellis is fairly certain his team will bounce back from this adversity.

“I believe we’ve done a good job of keeping our kids connected with our coaches in general, keeping them informed and also trying as best as can be done to conduct workouts with many of our kids, whether that’s with Zoom workouts, emails, with specific personal information,” he said. “So I’m pleased with the overall efforts of my staff and the resiliency of our kids during this time. Nothing takes the place of actual gym time as a team, but we’ve learned to adapt, like most programs are doing across the country.”

Burbank baseball coach Bob Hart saw the Bulldogs’ season end prematurely. “Like everyone, we have been greatly affected. Team sports is about camaraderie and it’s hard to develop when you can’t be around each other,” he said. “Our approach is going to be that patience and resolve and as we tell the players, that will ultimately serve them well in life.”

Hart has faith in his players. “We will be doing individual training in the fall and adjust as we are able to. Predicated on decisions made by the powers that be,” he said.

Sports are going to be different, but at least the coaches and athletes will hopefully have a chance to finish the season on the field or court.

Burroughs Boys Hoops Shoot Poorly, Lose 67-40 To Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad

Some games are truly memorable because of the outcome and how it was played, while in other cases a team might want to forget it.

For the Burroughs High boys’ basketball squad, Friday night’s Pacific League matchup with Crescenta Valley at Providence High, could be categorized in the latter after falling behind early and never catching up in an eventual 67-40 setback.

Nicholas Garcia dribbling the ball against Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians were held to six points in the first and second quarters and trailed 38-12 at the intermission after making just four of 24 for 16.6 percent from the floor.

The second half was much better for Burroughs, which outscored the Falcons 18-15 in the third quarter to get within 56-27, and then outscored Crescenta Valley 13-11 in the fourth quarter.

The Falcons, who pulled ahead 18-6 heading into the second period, had two players score in doubles figures as shooting guard Tyler Carlson tallied a game-best 24 points and power forward Alec Vosjanian scored 16 points.

Senior center Corwin Smith tossed in a team-best 10 points for the Indians, who shot 28.3 on the night (15 of 53).

The Falcons (14-3 and 5-1 in league) started strong as they connected on six of 11 from the floor and continued their hot shooting after drilling eight of 13 in the second period.

Carlson scored 10 points in the initial frame and that included two of his four game-high, three-pointers.

Center Corwin Smith scored a team-high 10 points for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Vosjanian tacked on 12 points in the second period and that included his only three-pointer.

On the opposite bench, the Indians (13-6 and 4-4 in league) hit two of 12 from the floor in the first and second quarters.

Nicholas Garcia is the point guard and the starting quarterback for the Indians this past season.

“Twelve points in a half is not going to cut it,” said Garcia, a senior. “We just gotta go back to work tomorrow. We just gotta keep playing through this. You’ve gotta have a better offense.”

Garcia then added: “I try to get everybody else involved,” he noted. “Everybody can score on that team. It’s hard to play defense against them because everybody can score.”

Garcia thinks Burroughs will bounce back. “I say out of these next four games, we go 3-1,” he said. “This is our only loss.”

Shooting guard Carson Cardenaz tallied six points on a pair of three-pointers. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

After Smith made two free throws in the first quarter, he scored a hoop and two from the charity line for six points.

Carlson was on the mark in the third quarter after tallying 10 points with six points coming on a pair of three-pointers as the Falcons were successful on seven of 18 from the field.

Burroughs senior shooting guard Carson Cardenaz, who played wide receiver on the football team, nailed a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter for his only points.

Guard Blake Ballard had a good third quarter for the Indians after scoring five of his seven points.

Senior forward Emery Goulet was also productive in the third period for the Indians, scoring four of his six points.

Crescenta Valley finally had an off-shooting quarter in the fourth after making four of 15.

Guard Elijah Duller delivered all of his seven points in the fourth quarter for the Indians, who made 11 of 26 in the second half (37.9 percent).

Guard Jase Sadsad came of the bench and scored two points for Burroughs, which made three from three-point range  and nailed seven of eight from the free-throw line for 87.5 percent.

The Falcons dropped in seven three-pointers and drilled 10 of 12 from the free-throw stripe for 83.3 percent.

Burroughs Boys Hoops Drop Pacific League Opener Against Glendale

By Rick Assad

For nearly 29 minutes of the scheduled 32 minutes, the Burroughs High boys’ basketball team was either tied or in front against visiting Glendale in the Pacific League opener on Tuesday night.

What happened across the last two-plus minutes undid what transpired earlier as the Nitros rallied for a 61-52 victory.

In the fourth period, Glendale outscored Burroughs 27-15 after connecting on eight of 13 from the field and drilling nine of 10 free throws.

Nicholas Garcia, who scored a team-best 16 points, tries to block a shot against the Nitros. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians made six of 12 from the floor and two of three from the charity line in the same period.

The match was deadlocked at 14-14 heading into the second frame, but the Indians shimmied ahead 27-20 at the half before bolting in front 37-34 after three frames.

An important moment came when junior point guard Arthur Chebishian (14 points) stole the ball and then raced down court for a layup with 2:30 remaining as Glendale seized a 48-46 lead.

With 1:52 left, a three-pointer from senior swingman Manouk Manoukian (14 points) handed the Nitros a 51-48 edge.

Manoukian finished with a game-best three from three-point range, nailing one in the first, third and fourth quarters.

Guard Jase Sadsad looks for the open man. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Chebishian’s hoop made it 53-48 with 1:29 on the clock, which forced Coach Allan Ellis to call time out.

Neither team shot especially well from the field as the Nitros made 35.4 percent (17 of 48) and the Indians 34.5 percent (19 of 55).

Glendale (4-4 and 1-0 in league) went to the free-throw line 22 times and drilled 19 for 86.3 percent.

Burroughs (5-1 and 0-1 in league) toed the free-throw stripe 14 times and canned 11 for 78.5 percent.

Another key statistic was Glendale’s ability to make its three-pointers. On the night, it sank eight compared to Burroughs dropping in three.

Senior point guard Nicholas Garcia paced the Indians with a team-high 16 points and hit one three-pointer.

Guard Evan Zamora is seen dribbling for the Indians, who fell by nine points to the Nitros. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“They [Glendale] battled on the defensive end and we couldn’t get stops and that was the deciding factor in the game,” said senior swingman Emery Goulet, who scored 13 points, including nine in the opening half.

Goulet went on: “It comes down to the intensity and defensive energy on the defensive end and they made shots and we didn’t,” he said.

Even with the loss, Goulet still believes the team will respond.

“I love my guys,” he said. “I’m behind them until the end. I think they can bounce back and make some noise this year.”

Goulet’s basket with 1:48 left in the second quarter made it 24-17 and Garcia’s bucket with 1:19 remaining in the third quarter pushed the lead to 37-32.

Garcia scored eight points that included a trey in the initial frame while Chebishian dropped in two three-pointers for six points.

Goulet had his most-productive quarter in the second tallying seven points with five points coming via free throws as Burroughs converted four of 16 from the field and five of five from the charity line.

The Nitros, who shot 25.9 percent at the half (seven of 27) were held to six points in the second period after making two of 13 from the floor.

The Indians drilled 29 percent of their shots at the intermission (nine of 31) and eight of nine from the free-throw line.

Glendale senior swingman Manny Kapoushian (game-best 17 points) scored eight points in the third quarter with six points being derived from free throws. The Nitros converted nine of 10, but only two of eight from the field.

The Indians drained four of 12 from the floor and one of two charity tosses in the third stanza as Garcia scored four points.

Center Corwin Smith dropped in nine points with six coming at the intermission, guard Jase Sadsad added seven points, forward Tyler Cantrell delivered four and senior shooting guard Carson Cardenaz tossed in three points for the Indians.

Burbank, Burroughs Boys Hoops Set Sights High

By Rick Assad

The task is a tall one, no doubt, but the Burbank High and Burroughs boys’ basketball teams are each gunning for the top spot when it comes to the Pacific League standings, hoping to unseat Pasadena.

The Bulldogs are athletic with dependable shooters and defenders and will be led Sid Cooke, who has an impressive and deep resume, having coached Renaissance Academy to a pair of CIF Southern Section championships across 16 years.

“We’re trying to build a culture. Commitment and accountability. Do the right thing every time,” said Cooke, a first-year coach at Burbank, who was also an assistant coach at Glendale Community College for three years. “They do play hard, but they’ve got to play different as far as the understanding of the game.”

You can never practice enough as Burroughs goes through some drills. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank played well last season after going 17-12 and 8-6 in league for fourth place.

The Bulldogs fell to La Canada 57-43 in the opening-round of the CIF Division II A playoffs.

Burbank will not have shooting guard Miles D’Agostin, who averaged just over 26 points and was selected All-CIF second team, because of graduation.

Cooke is a tough taskmaster who demands perfection on the court, but knows how to motivate.

Four players were on last year’s squad and they will be asked to lead Burbank on the floor.

Kevin Sarkes is a 6-foot-5 senior center who will rebound, play solid defense and shoot in the paint.

“We have a good group of guys,” he said. “We hope to capture the first league title in a long time, it’s been about 20 years. And then heading to CIF, we’ve been knocked out two years in the first round. Our goal is to capture the first CIF title.”

Senior Ben Burnham (6-0) is a standout wide receiver on the football team and will offer grit, points, hard-nose defense and rebounds from the point guard position.

“Transitioning from football to basketball is not that hard. I’m not in basketball shape,” he said. “We’re looking to do some damage in league. We’re focusing on getting better every week.”

Junior small forward Abiel Pearl (No. 25) will be a key player for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Senior shooting guard Leo Tahmasian (6-0) is a clutch long-range artist who can score points in a hurry.

“Three coaches in three years. Yes, it’s not easy, but when you have a great coaching staff it’s pretty easy to adjust,” he said. “They have a system in place.”

Sarkes then added: “Coach Sid has won multiple championships at different levels,” he said. “His resume speaks for itself. He’s a great coach. We have a great group of guys. I’m very confident in what we can do this year whether it’s in league or CIF. We’ve got a good core and a good group of guys to build around.”

Junior shooting guard/small forward Abiel Pearl (6-3) is athletic and a leaper who has a soft touch in the paint, is a ball hawk on defense and a splendid rebounder.

There are four other seniors on the team and they include shooting guard Gor Keshishyan (6-2), shooting guard Danny Contreras (5-7), shooting guard A.J. Blake (5-10), small forward/power forward Craig Rushton (6-2) and center Greg Zadikian (6-5).

Up and in the basket. The Indians hope to see more of this during the season. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The juniors include point guard Vartan Avetisyan (5-9), shooting guard Elmer Reyes (5-10), small forward Kelton Shea (6-3) and shooting guard Armen Nazarian (6-3).

Three sophomores are on the team and they are small forward J.G. Lambert (6-3), point guard/shooting guard Phoenix Mosley (5-9) and shooting guard Nigel Dickens (6-1).

The Indians are deep in talent this season and hope to forget last season in which they went 11-16 and 4-10 in league for sixth place while missing the postseason.

Four players return and they include senior swingman Emery Goulet, senior point guard Nicholas Garcia, senior shooting guard Carson Cardenaz and reserve forward Tyler Cantrell.

Goulet is a first-team all-league selection, team captain and one of the floor leaders.

Garcia, who was the quarterback for the Indians, will distribute the basketball and look for his shot when it’s available.

Senior guard Leo Tahmasian (No. 23) should have a solid season for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Cardenaz played wide receiver and always showed his toughness on the field.

“We are bigger and stronger physically than last year’s team,” Burroughs coach Allan Ellis said. “I think last year’s experience for our starting guards will help us a lot on and off the court for our younger players.”

Ellis knows it’s not going to be easy to capture the league title, but likes what he’s seen.

“We know we are in a tough league, but the majority of these players have been a part of my program for four years,” he said. “We look forward to the challenge and the guys are hungry to show what they are capable of on the basketball court.”

The rest of the backcourt will consist of shooting guard Jase Sadsad, shooting guard Blake Ballard, shooting guard Elijah Duller, shooting guard Evan Zamora and point guard Coleman Chennault.

The frontcourt will be comprised of Jack Nitzsche, Chance Spinks and Corwin Smith, who is 6-6, and will play center.

Burbank Boys Basketball Starts Strong Against Crossroads, Tapers Off

By Rick Assad

 

After 16 minutes, it seemed that the Burbank High boys’ basketball team had matters in hand.

Its long-range jumpers were falling, its man-to-man defense was effective and its passing was crisp, which resulted in the Bulldogs holding a 15-point advantage at halftime over Crossroads in one of seven games held at the Burbank gym for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Showdown.

Chance Van Hook hit a three-pointer against Crossroads. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

What occurred in the second half was the opposite as the Bulldogs struggled offensively, the defense opened up gapping holes for easy hoops including a bevy of slams and too many turnovers as the Roadrunners collected a 73-64 win on Monday afternoon.

Burbank (14-10) opened up by making seven of 17 in the first quarter and eight of 17 shots in the second for 44.1 percent and led 43-28.

The Bulldogs were successful on six of 23 field goals in the second half (26 percent) and were outscored by 24 points, including 19-6 in the third period.

“We play man-to-man,” Burbank coach Ernest Baskerville said of trying to defend Crossroads’ 6-10 freshman center Henri Adiassa. “We tried to front him. He’s a good player and he can play. When you have a height advantage, you have to take advantage of that.”

The Bulldogs had a tough time stopping Henri Adiassa, a 6-10 freshman who scored 20 points in the second half. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Baskerville continued: “I thought their point guard [Yukki Okubo] did a good job of being more active,” he noted.

Burbank senior point guard Miles D’Agostin, who had an off-night in an 18-point loss against visiting Crescenta Valley on Friday, found his stroke versus Crossroads, which produced point guard Baron Davis, who played two seasons at UCLA and 13 in the NBA where he averaged 16.1 points and 7.2 assists.

D’Agostin finished with a game-best 27 points, canning five three-pointers.

At the break, D’Agostin had 16 points after tallying 13 points in the opening quarter.

D’Agostin was held scoreless in the third quarter, but rebounded for 11 points in the fourth frame that included two treys including one with 1:03 left that cut the Roadrunners’ lead to 69-63.

Junior point guard Leo Tahmasian contributed nine points for the Bulldogs (21 of 57 for 36.8 percent) and canned two of Burbank’s 11 three-pointers.

Leo Tahmasian dropped in nine points in a nine-point loss to the Roadrunners. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Roadrunners (12-10), who snapped a four-game losing streak, came out slowly in the initial period, making three of 15.

Crossroads (43.4 percent on 30 of 69) shot better in the second quarter, hitting six of 14 from the field.

Junior swingman Miles Ceballos, whose father Cedric Ceballos, a small forward who toiled 11 seasons in the NBA, including three with the Lakers, poured in nine of his 16 points in the second half.

The third quarter saw Adiassa, who had a game-high 27 rebounds, finally break out with six points.

But what followed for Adiassa was a 14-point explosion in the fourth quarter as junior point guard Okubo (16 points) repeatedly found him at the low box and simply lofted easy passes for three vicious and spinetingling slam dunks.

“Yeah, I just went in at halftime and started yelling,” Crossroads coach Anthony Davis said of trying to inspire his youthful, but talented team. “I try to keep my cool because we have a young team and you don’t want to lose them. I tried to pull out something to fire them up by any means to do that.”

Jared Pasion scored four points, but tries to defend against Crossroads, which won 73-64. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Davis continued: “We were more focused. We let them [Burbank] play comfortable. In the second half we tried to control the tempo,” he pointed out. “I have to be patient and not ride them for every mistake. They’re finding their way.”

Davis went on: “We have to play inside out with him,” he said of Adiassa, who is still learning the game. “I told him that when he’s in a rush, we’re in a rush.”

Okubo’s scoring output, like the game itself, came slowly at first as he tallied two points in the opening frame and four in the second.

Like Adiassa, Okubo took off in the second half as the 5-7 floor leader had four points in the third frame and six in the final period.

Junior point guard Mazen Wharton-Ali dropped in eight points for Crossroads, sophomore point guard T.J. Muhammad had six points, while sophomore shooting guard/small forward Shaqir O’Neal, whose father Shaquille O’Neal, a 15-time All-Star, four-time NBA champion and a Hall of Famer, came off the bench and tallied five points.

O’Neal’s bucket with 7:20 left on the clock in the fourth quarter handed the Roadrunners a 51-49 edge.

Burbank junior power forward Kevin Sarkes had six points while sophomore point guard Abiel Pearl dropped in five and senior point guard Jared Pasion scored four points.

Senior point guard Guram Dumbadze had three points, junior point guard Ben Burnham also had three as did senior shooting guard Chance Van Hook, , while senior point guard Isaac Anglade scored two points as did senior shooting guard Erik Harutyunyan.

Burbank Boys Hoops Struggles Versus Crescenta Valley, Lose 63-45

By Rick Assad

 

When the Burbank High boys’ basketball team stepped onto the floor to face visiting Crescenta Valley on Friday night, they met a squad that was at times red-hot shooting the basketball and merely hot on other occasions.

The end result was predictable as the Falcons flew off to a 63-45 decision in a Pacific League encounter.

Erik Harutyunyan dropped in a team-best 13 points in a 63-45 loss to Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Crescenta Valley shot 50 percent from the floor (23 of 46 attempts) and knocked down seven three-pointers, including four in the second half when it outscored the Bulldogs 32-23.

“They protected the middle,” Burbank coach Ernest Baskerville said of Crescenta Valley’s defense. “We missed jump shots, period. The last time we hit jump shots. That’s what basketball is. Either you’re going to make them or miss them.”

Baskerville, in his first year at Burbank, added: “It’s all about who gets the most shots,” he said. “At the end of the day, we didn’t more shots than they did.”

Burbank was successful on 15 of 57 field goal attempts from the floor for 26.3 percent.

Ben Burnham, who scored three points, goes up for a jumper against the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Falcons (18-4 and 7-3 in league) made seven of 10 from the field in the third quarter and four of nine in the fourth period for 57.8 percent.

“We had a little bit of a sour taste in our mouth after that game,” Crescenta Valley coach Shawn Zargarian said of the 74-72 setback to the Bulldogs on December 14. “We don’t like to lose at home. Our guys had a lot of motivation.”

Zargarian added: “I think the three quarters where we controlled it, a lot of it was on the defensive end of the floor,” the former Falcon player noted. “We guarded ball-screens well. We stayed attached on their shooters.”

Crescenta Valley darted in front 41-28 with 2:25 showing in the third quarter when junior guard/forward Danny Khani (15 points) nailed three consecutive three-pointers which sealed Burbank’s fate as it trailed 52-35 heading into the fourth quarter.

Abiel Pearl tries to defend Tyler Carlson, who had a game-high 22 points. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I thought Danny, who hit the three threes in the third quarter lifted us there and I thought he did a good job defensively,” Zargarian pointed out.

Burbank (14-9 and 5-5 in league) was looking at a deficit after each break, falling behind 16-6 heading to the second quarter and 31-22 at halftime as the Falcons made six of 12 in the initial frame and six of 15 in the second period for 44.4 percent.

The Falcons pulled ahead 11-3 with 2:05 left in the first frame on a hoop from junior point guard Tyler Carlson (game-best 22 points).

The Bulldogs struggled to locate the basket in the first period after hitting two of 15 and the second quarter on four of 13 and shot 21.4 percent at the half.

Burbank missed its first eight shots in the initial frame and finally broke the streak when junior shooting guard Leo Tahmasian (12 points) scored and later converted the first of two three-pointers in the same period.

Leo Tahmasian had 12 points for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs were paced by senior shooting guard Erik Harutyunyan with 13 points.

Carlson nailed four three-pointers over all and tallied a game-best 13 points at the intermission, dropping in eight in the first period and making two treys and scoring five points in the second quarter with one three-pointer.

Senior point guard Miles D’Agostin tallied 10 points for the Bulldogs, while sophomore shooting guard Abiel Pearl accounted for four points.

Junior shooting guard Ben Burnham had three points, junior power forward Kevin Sarkes added two points and senior shooting guard Guram Dumbadze had one point.

The Falcons hit 10 of 21 free throws while the Bulldogs, who made four three-pointers, converted 11 of 20 from the charity line.

Burbank will host Crossroads at noon on Monday as it celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day with seven games.

Burroughs Boys Hoops Digs Hole Against Glendale, Lose 59-50

By Rick Assad

 

A deep and ugly hole faced the Burroughs High boys’ basketball team on Friday evening and it proved simply too much.

Glendale jumped out to a 24-8 lead in the first quarter and then held off the visiting and gritty Indians 59-50 in a Pacific League encounter.

After the putrid start, the Indians, who connected on 19 of 58 from the floor for 32.7 percent and outscored the Nitros, who drilled 22 of 49 for 44.8 percent, 19-8 in the second quarter, drew within 32-27 at the intermission.

The Indians struggled to score in the first quarter against Glendale. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We started the game off not ready to play defense the way we practiced, the way we prepared,” Burroughs coach Allan Ellis said. “In the second quarter we started picking up our defensive intensity and that got us back into the basketball game.”

Sammy Solis paved the way for the Indians (5-6 and 0-2 in league) with a team-best 14 points while Emery Goulet chimed in with 11.

Burroughs came out and hit on three of 12 shots from the floor in the opening period, but bounced back and drilled eight of 17 in the second frame as Solis scored eight points and delivered 10 points at the break.

The Indians nailed four from three-point range at the midway point and added three more in the second half.

Points were hard to come by for Burroughs against the Nitros. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs hit four of 15 from the field in the third quarter and four of 14 attempts in the fourth period.

Bryan Oasay contributed five points in the third quarter after dropping in a free throw in the opening stanza and a trey in the second period.

The Indians were outscored 10-9 in the third period and 17-14 in the fourth frame when Goulet tallied six points including a three-pointer.

Leading Glendale’s offense was junior shooting guard Manny Kapoushian, who dropped in a game-best 17 points and hitting four of the seven made from three-point range.

Kapoushian’s three-pointer with 5:49 left in the opening period handed the Nitros an 8-1 edge. A hoop by Solis with 4:43 remaining in the second quarter sliced Glendale’s advantage to 26-14.

Senior point guard Cole Fajardo added nine points for the Nitros (8-3 and 1-1 in league), who made 13 of 28 shots for 46.4 percent in the opening half, with seven points by the intermission.

When junior point guard Edgar Kirakosian (six points) drilled a three-pointer and four minutes showing, the Nitros, who took a 42-36 lead into the fourth quarter, surged ahead 52-39.

Evan Zamora and Nick Garcia each chimed in with six points for the Indians while Carson Cardenaz dropped in four.

The Indians canned seven of 12 free throws and the Nitros were successful on eight of 16 from the charity line.

 

Burbank Boys Hoops Notch 78-62 Win Over Visiting Arcadia

By Rick Assad

 

Miles D’Agostin had an evening he’s going to remember for a very long time after pouring in a game-high 36 points.

D’Agostin is a senior shooting guard who practically carried the offensive load, helping push the Burbank High boys’ basketball team to a convincing 78-62 rout of visiting Arcadia in the Pacific League opener on Tuesday night.

D’Agostin accounted for 21 points in the opening half and finished with eight three-pointers and drilled six of six from the free-throw stripe.

“I didn’t think we played as intense in the first half. We gave them [Arcadia] a lot of confidence,” said Burbank first-year coach Ernest Baskerville. “For me, it’s not about the points. It’s the team learning.”

The next high scorer for the Bulldogs, who canned 11 from three-point range, was senior shooting guard/point guard Isaac Anglade’s 10 points as he pumped in two from beyond the three-point arc.

Burbank first-year coach Ernest Baskerville, shown in a recent game, addresses to his team. Miles D’Agostin (No. 2) had a game-high 36 points versus Arcadia. (Photo by Ross A Benson)

The key quarter for Burbank (5-2 and 1-0 in league) was the third when it exploded for 22 points and took command 60-44 after making nine of 16 (56.2 percent) from the field and two of two from the free-throw line.

“We didn’t make free throws early,” Baskerville pointed out. “We missed some layups. We missed some defensive assignments. They’re picking it up. They’re learning.”

Baskerville went on: “They played hard. That’s one thing I’m known for,” he noted. “I want them to be selfless. I like the extra pass. Let’s all eat. Everybody eats. The basketball court is a buffet.”

Meanwhile the Apaches (5-2 and 0-1 in league) converted five of 15 (33.3 percent) from the floor in the third period after missing their first two attempts.

“We just came out in the third quarter and we just lacked execution,” Arcadia co-coach Nick Wallace said. “We fell apart and we couldn’t recover. We’re an inexperienced team that’s trying to figure out how to play basketball the correct way as a team.”

Wallace added: “When we don’t score and we’re not playing physical and we’re not playing fast, that’s what ends up happening,” he said.

Senior Erik Harutyunyan, shown in a recent game against Eagle Rock, dropped in nine points in a 78-62 win over the Apaches. (Photo by Ross A Benson)

D’Agostin’s long trey with 4:46 showing in the third period saw the Bulldogs take command 50-36.

The opening quarter was close as the Bulldogs moved in front 19-18 heading into the second period.

D’Agostin led the way as he tallied eight points with six coming by way of three-pointers in the initial period.

The Bulldogs didn’t shoot well in the opening half, making nine of 29 (31 percent) from the field, but canned 13 of 20 (65 percent) from the free-throw line.

On the night, the Bulldogs converted 17 of 26 from the free-throw line for 65.3 percent, which could be better according to Baskerville.

In the second quarter, D’Agostin scored 13 points, including three via three-pointers as Burbank moved in front 38-32.

When D’Agostin hammered a three-pointer with 1:32 left in the second quarter, the Bulldogs, who shot 40.3 percent on 25 of 62 from the floor, bolted ahead 32-30.

Burbank was off in the fourth quarter, sinking seven of 17 (41.1 percent) and two of four from the charity line.

D’Agostin had a quiet fourth quarter scoring five points, while the leader was Anglade with seven points.

Junior shooting guard Richard He led the Apaches (5-2 and 0-1 in league) with 13 points after drilling two three-pointers.

Senior small forward Erik Harutyunyan tossed in nine points for Burbank, while sophomore small forward Abiel Pearl added five points and senior small forward Jalen Clark collected four points.

Senior point guard Kenneth Lee and senior shooting guard Sean Liu each scored eight points for the Apaches, who shot 25 percent from the floor (14 of 56) and eight of 21 from the free-throw line (38 percent).

Burroughs Boys Hoopsters Wallop Glendale 81-70

By Rick Assad

 

An even dozen three-pointers found the bottom of the basket for the Burroughs High boys’ basketball team on Wednesday against visiting Glendale.

The result was an impressive 81-70 Pacific League victory as three players reached double-digits, including junior forward Zion Bazzell, who tossed in a team-high 21 points.

Bazzell had a pair of treys in the first quarter as the Indians converted 10 of 13 from the field, seven from beyond the three-point stripe and led 27-15.

Omar Searcy, who had 12 points, gets ready to pass the ball against Glendale’s Eli Degrate, who had a game-high 28 points. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We knew they could shoot the basketball,” Burroughs coach Allan Ellis said. “I watched a couple of films of them and they were knock-down shooters, so we wanted to make sure we were guarding the perimeter, run them off the three-point line and in that process we gave up a lot of layups in the first half, but were able to clean it up in the second half and we were able to do a better job defensively.”

When Bazzell scored with two minutes showing in the initial frame the Indians pulled ahead 21-11.

High-man for the Nitros (13-4 and 1-3 in league) was senior shooting guard Eli Degrate with 28 points, who tallied 16 points in the second half.

The Indians were marksmen for most of the evening, drilling 29 of 54 for 53.7 percent.

Burroughs senior wing Amir Montgomery rises to defend in a 81-70 win over the Nitros. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In the second half, Burroughs (11-5 and 2-2 in league) shot 55.5 percent from the field (15 of 27) that included five from three-point range.

Glendale made 39.6 percent (21 of 53) of its attempts, but hit 25 of 33 free throws (75.7 percent) while the Indians canned 13 of 20 (65 percent).

“This is the defense that we were playing earlier in the season and we have gotta get back to that and we’ve done that in the last two games,” Ellis said. “In my opinion, defense wins basketball games. If we’re engaged on that end of the floor and we’re defending and rebounding, then we can push the ball and get easy points in transition.”

The Nitros outscored the Indians 16-10 in the second period and made six of 14 from the field and four of six from the charity line as Degrate had six points after scoring six in the opening period.

Meanwhile the Indians, who led 37-31 at halftime, made four of 14 from the floor as Bazzell accounted for four points after dropping in 10 in the first quarter.

According to Allan Ellis, the Indians coach, defense wins basketball games. Here Stefon Foster and Zion Bazzell, who had a team-best 21 points, are needed. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The second half saw senior forward Carson Clarke (eight points) hammer a three-pointer early in the third period.

Three shots later, senior wing Amir Montgomery (seven points) added his only trey that made it 44-35 with 5:20 left in the third quarter.

When Bazzell scored on a driving layup after a steal with 4:06 remaining, the Indians forged a 46-36 lead.

A bucket by senior shooting guard Omar Searcy (12 points) gave the Indians a 53-41 cushion with 1:10 left before heading into the fourth quarter.

Burroughs added six more points in the frame and led 59-41 going into the fourth quarter.

Degrate scored four points in the third quarter as did sophomore swingman David Shamiryan (23 points).

For the second straight quarter, Burroughs scored 22 points after hitting seven of 11 from the field and nine of 12 free throws, but was outscored by Glendale, which had 29 points including 15 points from Shamiryan and Degrate’s 12.

The Nitros hit eight of 19 in the fourth period as Shamiryan added three from three-point range.

Senior shooting guard Stefon Foster chimed in with 11 points for Burroughs that included three treys and sophomore point guard Quentin Roberts added all nine points in the second half, including a three-pointer in the third quarter.

Considering the up-tempo pace, the high-scoring game was relatively well-played with Burroughs turning the ball over 12 times to Glendale’s 10.