Tag Archives: Tyrese Willis

Burbank Boys Basketball Looks Sharp in Win Over Burroughs

Many of the faces have changed, but the Burbank High boys’ basketball team closed out its regular season against Burroughs like the team that is ready for the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Last season the Bulldogs reached their first CIF championship game since 1926.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

The Bulldogs overcame an early first-quarter slump to easily beat the host Indians 59-51 in a Pacific League contest Thursday.

“Our league has the best coaches, so it definitely prepares us for the playoffs,” Burbank coach Jamayne Potts said. “We wanted to go 4-3 in the second half of league and we did that. We’re right where we want to be.”

Burbank (17-10, 7-7 in the league) claimed the fourth spot in the league behind Pasadena, Muir and Crescenta Valley.

Burroughs (13-14, 3-11) struggled with numbers all season and even missed having coach Allan Ellis on the bench.  He missed the game for undisclosed reasons.

“This team has been through so many adversities this year,” acting head coach Scott Koulouvaris said. “We’ve had so many injuries. We lost our best player (Stefon Foster) at the beginning of the season. We’ve had guys with concussions, sprained ankles. You name it we had it. We played at one point with seven guys. It has been tough on the kids.”

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Burroughs jumped out to an early lead and held a 15-14 advantage going into the second quarter.

Burbank then took over by going on an 11-0 run to begin the second quarter.

Burroughs remained tough, but never really threatened the Bulldogs again.  Burbank led 31-27 at halftime and pushed the advantage to 43-34 at the end of the third period.

Burbank was led by Erik Harutyunyan, who had a game-high 23 points. Sevak Mkrtchyan had 12 points, Xavier Davis eight, Justin De Sales seven, Tyrese Willis six and Ben Burnham had three points.

Burroughs was led by Omar Searcy, who had 13 points. Zion Bazzell had 12 points, Carson Clarke had nine, Quentin Roberts eight, Amir Montgomery seven and DJ Hubbell had two points.

 

Pasadena Boys Basketball Too Tough for Burbank

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.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

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.”

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

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.

Burbank Boys Basketball Gets Upper Hand on Burroughs

The old saying is if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

That is what happened to the Burbank High boys’ basketball team Friday night when the Bulldogs faced rival Burroughs in a Pacific League contest.

Burbank came out in a zone defense that bothered the Indians in the Bulldogs’ 61-46 home win.

“We haven’t been running it a lot this year. It has been game by game,” Burbank coach Jamayne Potts said. “We kind of figured they probably thought we’d come out in man and throw a loop at them. We actually weren’t supposed to stay in it the entire game, but it was working.”

Burbank (13-7, 3-4 in the league)  jumped out to an early lead and was never seriously threatened by Burroughs (11-8, 2-5).

The Bulldogs led 16-6 at the end of the first quarter and led 30-19 at halftime.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Things didn’t get any easier for Burroughs in the second half, as the Bulldogs went up 47-30 going into the final quarter.

“The zone bothered us a lot. We didn’t react well to it,” Burroughs coach Allan Ellis said. “We had some good looks, we just didn’t shoot the ball well. We’re a streaky team from the three-point line. As long as a team is not making shots, a team is going to stay in the zone.  That was a smart thing for them to do.”

Burroughs played without star guard Stefon Foster, who has battled a number of leg and knee injuries.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

“We’ve been sitting him out,” Ellis said. “Obviously he’s a big piece of the team and a leader. Hopefully, we can have him back for the second half of league.”

Burbank was led by Tyrese Willis, who had 15 points. Xavier Davis had 14 points. Chance Van Hook had 13 points and Erik Harutyunyan had nine. Jalen Clark and Justin DeSales each had four points and Sevak Mkrtchyan had two points.

Burroughs was led by Omar Searcy, who had 13 points. Carson Clarke had 11 points and Amir Montgomery had 10 points. Bryan Oasay had five points, Quinton Roberts had four and Zion Bazzell had three points.

Burbank Boys Basketball Outhustled by Glendale

It took the Burbank High boys’ basketball team a long time to get into the rhythm it is accustomed to on Friday night when the Bulldogs visited Glendale High.

Burbank’s slump lasted so long that it was unable to dig itself out of a big hole in a 65-57 Pacific League defeat.

“I thought Glendale outworked us on the defensive glass and got a lot of second-chance opportunities. Glendale played harder than us for I’d say 28 minutes of the game,” Burbank coach Jamayne Potts said.

Burbank (11-4 overall, 1-1 in league) suddenly came to life following a Glendale timeout with 3:44 left and the Nitros holding a 54-40 lead.

The Bulldogs went on a quick 10-2 run and had a legitimate chance at getting back into the game being down just 56-50 with 2:21 to play after a three-pointer from Chance Van Hook.

“We were desperate and desperate teams are dangerous. They came back,” Potts said of his team. “We’re never going to go away. It’s good to know the fight is with this group.”

Burbank scored just eight points in the first quarter and just 19 in the first half.

“In the first half we struggled offensively. One of the reasons for that is because Tyrese (Willis) went out because of foul trouble,” Potts said. “All the credit to Glendale. They played hard and deserved to win this game.”

Burbank trailed 9-8 at the end of the first quarter and 26-17 at halftime. Glendale led 41-32 going into the final period.

Willis scored all of his team-high 17 points in the second half.

Van Hook finished with 12 points, all of which came in the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs got 11 points each from Erik Harutyunyan and Sevak Mkrtchyan.

Angel Ibarra had four points and Jalen Clark had two points for Burbank.

Glendale (13-2, 1-1) was led by David Shamiryan and Eli Degrate. Both finished with 14 points.

 

Burbank, Burroughs Boys Basketball Begin New Chapter

It was just a year ago that Burbank High had one of its greatest seasons in school history that nearly resulted in a CIF Southern Section championship. Burroughs featured a team that was built completely around multi-talented star Tristen Hull. Things have changed for both teams entering the 2017-18 season.

Burbank

The Bulldogs lost nearly everyone that played last season, led by Michael Woods, who is now at UC Merced.

While there are several returning varsity players, junior point guard Tyrese Willis was the only one who received regular playing time.

Willis has grown to 5-foot-7 and should be the team leader.

“Last year was last year. It was a different group,” Burbank coach Jamayne Potts said of the team that went 25-10. “This group has to go through the same things that the last group went through, which was they go through reps, they go through success, they learn how to win games. They go through failure and those things help you prepare to get towards CIF. We’re literally going one step at a time.”

Burbank will have just one senior on the team as Sevak Mkrtchyan (5-11) moves up from the junior varsity.

The Bulldogs have benefited by the addition of juniors Justin De Sales (6-2) and Jalen Clark (6-3), both of which transferred from Village Christian.

Coach Jamayne Potts is very optimistic about junior Xavier Davis (5-9).

Five more juniors return from last season including football stars Duncan Smith (6-4) and Erik Harutyunyan (6-1). Chance Van Hook (6-2), Luke Johnson (5-10) and Jared Pasion (5-9) also return.

Junior Angel Ibarra (6-2) and sophomores Ben Burnham (5-9) and Leo Tahmasian (6-0) move up from within the program.

Burroughs

As hard as it was to lose Hull, the Indians will be a more balanced team this season after going 13-14 a year ago. Hull is now playing at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.

“It’s a different team obviously. We lost Tristen (Hull) so we don’t have a big guy anymore. We lost eight seniors so a lot of young guys need to take that leadership over,” Burroughs coach Allan Ellis said. “I like the team. We’re more of a guard-oriented team. We push the ball and we’re scoring at a high pace. We need to focus on defensive intensity and making sure we get stops.”

Burroughs returns senior Stefon Foster (6-2), who was the starting point guard last season when he was healthy. Senior Omar Searcy (6-0) and junior Zion Bazzell (6-1) will see key roles as wings. Senior Carson Clark (6-2) is expected to see time at power forward.

The Indians have added Amir Montgomery (6-3), a transfer from Bonita High in LaVerne. He will be the Indians’ big man. Coach Allen Ellis is also high on freshman Frank Waldeck (6-2) who recently moved to Burbank from North Carolina.

Juniors Bryan Oasay (5-10), Sammy Solis (5-10) and sophomores Quinton Roberts (6-1) and Emery Goulet (6-1) will add depth for the Indians.

 

 

Burbank Boys Basketball Outlasts Blair

For much of the postseason the Burbank High boys’ basketball team has been the team that has rallied to pull off a number of upset victories.
Saturday night things were a little different for the Bulldogs against Blair High of Pasadena.
Blair gave Burbank all it could handle and then some in forcing overtime before the Bulldogs prevailed 73-70 in the second round of the CIF Division 4 state touranment.
Burbank will host Immanuel High of Reedley in the semifinals of the Southern Region on Tuesday.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“What I’m proud of most tonight is that we got off to a better start,” Burbank coach Jamayne Potts said. “Every game we’ve had a slow start. Tonight we got out to a 21-14 lead, so I think the good start helped us with our win.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“We knew coming in that Blair was a lot like us in that the fight was always going to be there. They’re athletic, they like to drive. I thought we did a pretty good job of putting the ball in the hole tonight. We made more free throws, so I was proud of us offensively. We kept our composure.”
Burbank (25-9) actually led 17-4 early on in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs also got a spark from sophomore point guard Tyrese Willis, who finished with 11 points.
“The game plan was to play Tyrese a little more because the minutes he’s gotten in other games, he’s looking more and more confident,” Potts said.
But Blair, which had just nine players and does not have any lower level teams, fought back.
The two teams were tied at 35 at halftime.
Burbank continued to hold the lead until the Vikings took a 60-59 lead with 4:29 to play on a pair of free throws by Jack Dakan.
Dakan gave Blair its only lead of the overtime period when he hit a three-pointer to make it 69-68. He had a game-high 25 points.
Burbank re-took the lead on a basket by Abdullah Kobaissi, which was followed by a pair of free throws from Michael Woods with 49 seconds left in overtime to make it 72-69. Woods led Burbank with 21 points.
Burbank got 12 points from Kobaissi, 11 from Cameron Sweeten and nine from Thomas Clark. Ben Chavez had five points and Faraz Khandaker had four.

Burbank, Burroughs Boys’ Basketball Have Big Things in Mind

Much like their respective football teams, the boys’ basketball teams at Burbank and Burroughs highs have a similar feel. Burbank has a deep nucleus returning. Burroughs has a star leader in Tristen Hull, but is relatively inexperienced around him. Both teams are hoping to achieve similar success to last season when both went deep into the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Burbank

The Bulldogs went 20-11 a year ago and return four of five starters as well as their sixth man. Burbank will carry 14 players with seven seniors and seven sophomores.

Last season the Bulldogs reached the quarterfinals of the Division 2 AA playoffs, before losing to Loyola of Los Angeles.

Burbank is led by 6-foot-2 senior Michael Woods, a first-team all-league pick a year ago. Woods also earned second-team All-CIF honors.

“He does everything for us,” second-year coach Jamayne Potts said. “His job is to give us points or create for others.”

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burbank will count on Michael Woods to lead the team again. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

Faraz Khandaker (6-3) was the sixth man last season and led the team in rebounding.

“He brings a lot of energy on both sides of the floor,” Potts said.

Cameron Sweeten (5-11) returns as the point guard.

“He dictates our tempo and gets everyone their open looks,” Potts said. “He should lead our league in assists. He has that kind of ability.”

Thomas Clark (6-4) was Burbank’s defensive player of the year last year. He has committed to Macalester College in Minnesota.

Potts said Clark generally takes on the assignment of guarding the opposing team’s tallest player, but is more than an inside presence because of his ability to knock down three pointers.

Ben Chavez (6-2) is also a returning starter and is a solid shooter.

Abdullah Kobaissi (6-3) is a versatile returner who Potts said greatly improved in the summer.

Henrik Anassian (5-8) is a guard who Potts said is one of the smartest players on the team.

“We have some high expectations for ourselves. We would like to get above 20 wins,” Potts said. “We’re also looking to win league. We know it won’t be easy, but with the veteran group that we have we should be competing for (a) league (title). We’d like to make the CIF championship this year.”

Of the sophomores, one interesting player is sophomore Tyrese Willis, who will sit out the first month of the season after transferring from Village Christian. Willis is a 5-5 point guard with a bright future.

Erik Harutyunyan (6-1) and Duncan Smith (6-4) are both experiencing success with the football team and will add some depth when they return.

Jared Pasion (5-7) is a point guard up from the freshmen team. Luke Johnson (5-9), Avi Rivera (5-10) and Chance Van Hook (6-1) are all sophomores who came up from the freshman team.

“We have a senior group that will provide great leadership,” Potts said. “They are mentoring the sophomores so when they graduate those sophomores will be ready to go. The sophomores are talented. They went 24-3 and learned how to win as freshmen.”

Burroughs

The Indians are coming off an outstanding season in which they went 22-8 and reached the semifinals of the Division 1A playoffs, losing to eventual champion Santa Monica.

Allen Ellis has taken over as coach for Adam Hochberg, who stepped down to spend more time with his family.

Four players return from that team. Mostly notably is the versatile Hull, who has grown 6-7. Hull said he is being looked at colleges like Cal State Los Angeles, Northern Arizona, North Dakota St. as well as others.

“He’s going to have to play all positions at times,” Ellis said. “He’s our five-four man, but he has the ability to put the ball on the floor and create for others. We’re going to utilize that and utilize his strengths the best we can to help the team.”

Photo by: Edward Tovmassian

Tristen Hull is expected to have a big year for Burroughs. (Photo by: Edward Tovmassian)

Like Burbank, Burroughs will carry 14 players on varsity.

Also returning to the varsity are senior power forward Justin Henderson (6-3) and senior small forwards Austin Marx (6-0) and Brannan Shepherd (6-0).

“I think we have a lot of talent. Defensively we’re going to be aggressive and go after it,” Ellis said. “I like our chances throughout the year. I like our chances in league. We’ll be ready to play every single night.”

Junior point guard Stefon Foster (6-2), who was on the junior varsity last year, is expected to take over the playing making duties.

“We have a couple of young guys like Stefon Foster who is going to surprise a lot of people,” Ellis said.

Also up from the junior varsity is sophomore guard Zion Bazzell (6-0).

“We’re excited to watch him play,” Ellis said. “He’s very young, the youngest on the team but he has a great skill set.”

Junior Omar Searcy (5-11) and senior Ryan Del Castillo (6-1) also figure to be in the mix to get significant playing time.

Rounding out the team are seniors Hunter Cutone (5-8), Adam Kaba (6-1), Trevor Renga (6-3), juniors Carson Clarke (6-2), Kevin Rickman (6-0), and DJ Hubbell (5-8).

 

 

Burbank Boys Basketball Shows Promise in Loss

In summer league basketball the scoreboard is generally something of little concern.

That was the case when the Burbank High boys’ basketball team faced host St. Francis in the St. Francis Varsity Shootout Saturday.

Missing several key players, Burbank fell to the Golden Knights 60-38.

“I love this group. We have a good mixture,” Bulldogs coach Jamayne Potts said.
“We have a lot of veterans returning and a lot of young guys returning back into the program. Some are from the freshman team that went 24-3. I think we have a good mixture of seniors and our soon-to-be sophomores.

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Missing against St. Francis were four returning varsity players.

Star Michael Woods was one of those missing players, along with Abdullah Kobaissi, Henrik Anassian and Cameron Sweeten.

Burbank suited just six players, something Potts said that is common with his summer program.

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“For summer, I split the two varsity teams anyway so we’ll be playing with seven,” Potts said. “I believe in development and that everyone is getting maximum repetitions. “

The Bulldogs fell behind 20-9 early on, but cut things to as close as 23-21.

But the deeper St. Francis team pushed the lead back up and cruised to the victory.

Very impressive for the Bulldogs against St. Francis was 5-foot-1 sophomore-to-be Tyrese Willis, who played on the junior varsity team at Village Christian last year.

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The point guard showed great quickness and appears to be able to cause mismatches for opponents.

Also suiting up for the Bulldogs were Anthony Miloyan, Faraz Khander, Ben Chavez, Avi Rivera and Luke Johnson.