Tag Archives: Henrik Anassian

Burbank Boys Hoop Seniors End Extraordinary Ride

By Rick Assad
 
 
 
 

 

It hardly seems fair that the Burbank High boys’ basketball team lost a game at the buzzer with the CIF Southern Section Division III-AA title in the balance.

This was especially heartbreaking for the starting seniors, swingman Michael Woods, point guard Cameron Sweeten, forward Faraz Khandaker, shooting guard Ben Chavez and forward Abdullah Kobaissi.

These in particular helped the Bulldogs reach the finals for the first time since 1926 before losing 55-54 to Brentwood in overtime on Friday night at Azusa Pacific University.

Senior swingman Michael Woods scored 10 points and added 10 rebounds in the CIF title game against Brentwood. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Down two points and 4.1 seconds remaining, forward Braelee Albert (27 points with 11 rebounds) hit an off-balance three-pointer with Sweeten, who pulled down seven rebounds and handed out one assist, guarding him.

Still, this playoff run was historic and will be remembered a long time.

“We’ve been playing together forever, from elementary school,” said Woods, who dropped in 10 points with a team-high 10 rebounds and one assist with four fouls. “The chemistry is there. We’ve got Coach [Jamayne] Potts and that was a blessing.”

Forward Faraz Khandaker led the way with 18 points for the Bulldogs. The senior also added eight rebounds. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Woods went on: “Me and Cameron were supposed to go to Notre Dame, but I wouldn’t change anything.”

Sweeten is the floor leader and a quiet presence.

“I don’t dwell on those type of things much,” he said of the game-winning shot made by the Eagle sophomore. “The game plan was to switch on everything. We didn’t want to give up the three.”

Sweeten scored all nine points in the fourth quarter, including the tying hoop that made it 47-47 as the Bulldogs (19 of 62 for 30.6 percent) fell behind 35-29 after three periods.

“Coach drew up a play and I executed it,” said Sweeten of the tying bucket at the end of the fourth quarter.

Both teams struggled to find the hoop in the extra period with Burbank making two of six and the Eagles hitting three of nine.

Senior point guard Cameron Sweeten scored all nine points in the fourth quarter, including the game-tying basket. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Khandaker made seven of 15 from the floor and two of seven from three-point range.

Khandaker scored a team-best 18 points, including four points in overtime.

“I know our team, and even if it’s down 20 points or 30 points, we’re going to continue and keep on fighting,” said Khandaker, who led the way with nine points in the first half and ended the night with eight boards and two assists.

Woods said stopping Brentwood’s offense was a major priority. “We really pride ourselves on defense,” he said. “We want to play aggressively and our goal was to help each other out.”

Potts was of course disappointed in the outcome. “I’m extremely proud of my guys,” he said. “We were undersized, but we came back. I can’t say enough about the seniors. I’m really proud of this senior group.”

Brentwood made nine of 29 for 31 percent in the first half and ended the game making 34.4 percent (22 of 64).

Chavez dropped in six points with five rebounds and one assist, senior forward Thomas Clark tossed in four points with six rebounds and fouled out, Kobaissi had five points with five boards and senior guard Henrik Anassian scored two points with two assists.

Burbank Boys’ Basketball Team Creates Another Miracle

Playing for one CIF Southern Section championship in a major sport isn’t enough to satisfy Burbank High during the 2016-17 school year.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Duplicating the effort of the football team, the Bulldogs boys’ basketball team has also advanced to a championship contest.

Friday night the host Bulldogs pulled off one of the greatest victories in school history in any sport by defeating third-seeded Rancho Mirage 76-71 in the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA semifinals.

Rancho Mirage enjoyed a tremendous height advantage in that no Burbank starter was as tall as the shortest starter for the visitors.

“They’ve been talking to us ever since we got into the playoffs. They’ve been telling us nonstop to stay focused and take one game at a time, don’t let it slip away. They’ve been really good mentors for us,” Burbank’s Faraz Khandaker said of the football players. “We’ve been battling with size since we were sophomores. Sometimes it is heart over height.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank (23-8) trailed by as many as 12 points in the first quarter. The Bulldogs were down 40-27 with 2:26 left in the first half as Rancho Mirage star Charles Neal was on fire. Neal scored 15 of his team-high 23 points in the first half.  Michael Woods hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half to cut the deficit to 41-35.

Every time it looked like Rancho Mirage (28-4) was on the verge of pulling away, Burbank would answer back.

The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game with 2:50 left on a three-pointer by Woods to make it 68-67. He finished with a game-high 30 points.

Rancho Mirage re-took the lead twice more before Burbank went up 72-71 on a goaltending call following a shot by Thomas Clark.

“I feel like in the second half we pulled it together,” Woods said. “Nobody wants to go home, we want to keep playing. I never thought this was going to happen. Coach (Jamayne) Potts came in and he helped us out. We were struggling my freshman and sophomore year.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Potts said keeping his team under control was the key.

“I told them one at a time don’t panic. I said play harder, play smarter, but don’t panic,” the second-year Burbank coach said. “That’s what they did.”

Burbank will face Brentwood in the CIF championship game at a site, time and date to be determined.

It will be Burbank’s first appearance in a CIF championship in basketball since 1926, when the Bulldogs lost 12-8 to Anaheim in the Class C title game. As a school, Burbank will be looking for its first CIF title since 1993 when the boys’ tennis team captured the Division 3 crown.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank has two just two players, sophomores Eric Harutyunyan and Duncan Smith, who also played on the football team.

“Too bad the football team couldn’t get it,” Woods said of a CIF title. “We saw how the football team felt. We just have to go as hard as we can to bring one to the city of Burbank.”

Khandaker and Clark each had 12 points. Ben Chavez had eight points, Abdullah Kobaissi had six, Cameron Sweeten five and Henrik Anassian three points.

 

Burbank Boys’ Basketball Team Runs Past Hoover

By Nareg Atteukenian

After trailing in the first quarter, the Burbank High boys’ basketball team took the lead on the first basket of the second quarter and never looked back, defeating visiting Hoover High 78-48 Friday evening in a Pacific League contest F.

Scoring 27 points in the second quarter, including three 3-pointers from Faraz Khandaker, helped surge the Bulldogs to a commanding 38-23 halftime lead.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Having two usual starters come off the bench, Faraz Khandaker and Abdullah Kobaissi, helped to give the Bulldogs the surge they needed in the second quarter.

“I wanted each senior to have an opportunity to start,” Burbank coach Jamayne Potts said of his decision to start Henrik Anassian and Ben Chavez. “I’m comfortable with starting any of them.”

Burbank (16-6, 5-4 in league) took advantage of its opportunities to shoot from long distance, making 13 three-pointers.

“We definitely have the ability to hit the three ball,” Potts said. “We’re going to shoot a very good percentage when its open.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank guard Henrik Anassian, who generally comes off the bench, assessed the situation.

“They were taking away the paint so we took the open three,” Anassian said.. “We take whatever was given to us.”

Ben Chavez had a spectacular night hitting three consecutive three-pointers to start the fourth quarter, Potts was able to give his younger players a chance to get into in the action.

After a group of Burbank sophomores entered the game with 3:10 left, they hit subsequently hit three more three-pointers to help extend Burbank’s lead and finish the game on a strong note.

“I have a lot of confidence in the sophomores,” says coach Potts. “The pressure is nothing new because they battle every day at practice.”

Burbank held Hoover to just six points in the fourth quarter.

Burbank was led by Michael Woods who had 15 points. Ben Chavez had 14 points, Khandaker and Kobaissi had 12 each. Luke Johnson had six points, Cameron Sweeten had five, Anassian and Chance Van Hook had three each. Erik Harutyunyan and Jared Pasion had two points each.