Tag Archives: Kevin Sarkes

Burbank Boys Basketball Falls in League Opener to Muir

The Burbank High boys’ basketball opened Pacific League play Tuesday that one could say was similar to the weather we have seen locally over the past few weeks.

At times the Bulldogs were very cold shooting the basketball and at times they did well.
But the end result was not good enough to top visiting Muir High, which came away with a 62-53 victory.

Burbank early on struggled with Muir’s full-court press.

“We have some young guys that haven’t been through it and they were flustered. They’ll get better from it,” Burbank coach Sid Cooke said. “We can play with this team. We just need to hunker down and keep working.”

Burbank (1-6) actually held a 6-3 lead after one quarter as both teams played solid defense and limited each other to few good looks at the basket.

Ben Burnham (Photo by Ross A Benson) Ben Burnham

Muir then started to heat up from long distance, hitting four three-pointers in the second quarter alone.

Burbank had just two field goals in the first half that were not from three-point range and both of those came late in the half.

Muir (2-4) led by as much as 20 points early in the third quarter following a free throw from Khamron Cantrell, who had 11 points.

But Burbank started to get more comfortable with the press and as a result was able to improve its shot selection.

Daniel Contreras finished with 13 points for the Bulldogs, which included a trio of three-point shots.

But every time it looked like Burbank would be making a comeback, Muir’s Assad Muhammad would deliver an answer.

Muhammad had 15 points, all of which came from three-point shots and three of which came in the fourth quarter.

Muir also got 16 points from Joseph Dollaway and 13 points from Aziz Muhammad.

Elmer Reyes, Leo Tahmassian and Kelton Shea each had seven points for Burbank.  Ben Burnham had six points.
Kevin Sarkes and Abiel Pearl each had five points. Vartan Avetisyan had three points.

 

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 Gets Hungry in Win Over Burroughs

The Burbank High boys’ basketball knew that a win over Burroughs High in the regular season finale would guarantee a CIF Southern Section playoff berth.

As a result, the host Bulldogs played focused and determined in an 83-49 contest over the visiting Indians, who won the first meeting between the two rivals.

“They’ve been thinking about it the last two days,” Burbank coach Ernest Baskerville said of the playoffs. ‘They’ve been excited about playing this game. They understood the last time we played them, they kicked our butt.”

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Burbank (17-11 overall, 8-6 in the league) jumped out to a 22-10 lead at the end of the first quarter and were never threatened by the Indians, who finish the season with an 11-16 overall mark, 4-10 in the league.

“They were ready to go from the beginning. They wanted revenge and they played well and shot the ball well and we got behind and couldn’t recover,” Burroughs coach Allan Ellis said.

Burbank converted 20 of 33 shots it took in the first half and hit five of 14 attempts from three-point range.

The Bulldogs led 47-23 at halftime and continued to shine in the third quarter by taking a 66-33 lead going into the final quarter.

Miles D’Agostin, who had six 3-pointers, finished with a game-high 22 points. Erik Harutyunyan had 18 points.

Guram Dumbadze had 12 points, Jalen Clark, Leo Tahmasian and Isaac Anglade each had seven for the Bulldogs. Ben Burnham and Jared Pasion each had three points. Kevin Sarkes and Abiel Pearl each had two points.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Burroughs was led by Nick Garcia, who had 14 points. Bryan Oasey had 13 points, Aaron Amanios had nine points and Emery Goulet had four points.

Sammy Solis and Evan Zamora each had three points. Carson Cardenaz had two points and Peter Filippi had one point.

Baskerville is hopeful the CIF playoff selection committee will look at the Bulldogs’ strength of schedule.

“Hopefully we get a good draw if you look at the teams we’ve played. We’ve played Camarillo, Valencia, Calabasas, King-Drew, Crossroads,” he said.

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.

Boys Basketball Teams Have New Look

The Burbank and Burroughs boys’ basketball teams will be hoping to move forward this season after both experienced mediocrity last season. Both are solid and should be ready to go for Pacific League play, which begins today.

Burbank
Things have changed for the Bulldogs as Ernest Baskerville, who once was the head coach at Providence High, has taken over for Jamayne Potts, who took the Village Christian position.
A few players have left the program with the change of coaches, but the Bulldogs have looked solid in the early part of the season.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

“I love the fact that they’re all good kids and they’ll do anything I ask. I think the fact of the whole process of me becoming their coach that they bonded together a little more and said whomever we get we’re going to work hard for,” Baskerville said. “That’s what they’re doing, they are working really hard.”
Burbank has no superstars, but also doesn’t have any weaknesses.
Senior Erik Harutyunyan, at 6-foot-2, will generally take the toughest defensive assignments.
Senior Miles D’Agostin (5-10), nephew of former Burbank girls’ basketball coach John D’Agostin, has been very impressive in the early part of the season with his hustle and outside shooting capabilities.
At the point guard position the Bulldogs have senior Jared Pasion (5-9), senior Issac Anglade (5-10) and junior Ben Burnham (6-0).
On the wings and inside Burbank has a solid core of seniors. Chance Van Hook, Guram Dubadze, Satchel Bookchk and Clarence Tahmasian are all 6-2. Junior Kevin Sarkes is the tallest on the team at 6-4.
Junior Leo Tahmasian (6-0) and sophomore Abiel Pearl (6-1) have both show promise in the early part of the season.
Seniors Angel Ibarra (6-1) and Jalen Clark (6-0) have played key roles.

Burroughs

The Indians have grown up quickly with many new faces under third-year coach Allan Ellis.

Junior Nick Garcia, who played some quarterback in football, is expected to see significant minutes at the point guard position.
Senior Brian Oasey is a combo guard who could also see time at point guard.

The Indians will also look to juniors Emery Goulet, Carson Cardenaz and Evan Zamora as well as senior Aaron Amanios to make key contributions in the back court.

“I like my team this season because they are a resilient team that competes hard,” Ellis said. “League this season will be tough because we aren’t the most experienced team. But they are learning every day how to compete at the varsity level.”

In the front court, Burroughs will look to seniors Peter Filippi, Steven Johnson, Sammy Solis and Walker Miller.

Junior Ellington Simmons is coming of a fine football season as a receiver and will also give the Indians some height inside.