BURBANK HIGH — The Burbank High girls' basketball team put itself in a perfect position to win its Pacific League opener Friday against Arcadia.
With a little more than two minutes remaining in the game, the Bulldogs had a six-point lead and possession of the ball. But the Apaches battled back, tied the score and forced the contest into overtime.
In the extra period, Arcadia, paced by Melody Chang, sank its free throws and was able to escape with a 55-51 victory against host Burbank.
After struggling to find a rhythm earlier in the game, Burbank (4-9) played its best in the early part of the fourth quarter, when the six-point advantage was its biggest lead of the contest.
“I thought at that point, up by six and us having the ball, we were in pretty good shape,” Burbank Coach Bruce Breeden said. “But we didn’t take time off the clock down the court and we took a shot too quickly and they were able to get the rebound. That was just not a smart play.”
The Bulldogs had a 46-40 lead when Courtney Seidler converted a layup on a nice assist from Sharis Ghazeri with 2:29 left in regulation. But Chang, who led all scorers with 28 points, hit a big three-pointer at the 1:14 mark to lift the Apaches (11-2) to within three, 46-43.
After Burbank lost the ball on its next possession, Chang hit another key basket to get the visitors to within one. On the next play, the Bulldogs came downcourt and Seidler was called for a charge. The foul was a devastating one for Burbank, because it was Seidler’s fifth, as she fouled out with 33 seconds left.
Seidler had a team-high 16 points to go along with 12 rebounds.
With the ball back, Arcadia again put its fortunes in the hands of Chang, who was fouled with 28 seconds left. She converted the first shot but missed the second, as the score was knotted at 46.
The Bulldogs had plenty of time for a final shot. However, Alicia McCord missed a jumper and the ball was rebounded by Arcadia’s Caira Benton. But Benton lost the ball on the Bulldogs’ side of the court and it bounced to Aja Locke with just seconds remaining. Locke dribbled into the key, went up strong with one second left and was knocked into hard by an Apaches’ player, sending the Bulldog to the ground.
But instead of Locke standing at the free-throw line with a chance to win the game, the officials didn’t call a foul and the game went into overtime.
“I pretty much thought that Aja got fouled on that shot,” Breeden said. “It looked like the Arcadia girl went right through her. But then again, I bet that Arcadia thought they probably didn’t get some of the calls in the game as well.”
In overtime, the Apaches made seven of their eight free-throw attempts, with six coming without a miss from Chang.
The Bulldogs battled back in the game, as they were down by eight in the second quarter.
“We can’t waste too much time on this loss because we have three league games next week,” Breeden said.