Tag Archives: Zion Bazzell

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.

 

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.

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, 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).