PASADENA — For the second time this season, the Burbank High boys’ basketball team took a gut punch from Muir.
On Jan. 13, the Bulldogs fell to the Mustangs by two points in a five-overtime slugfest. Squaring off in a Pacific League rematch on Monday night, Burbank again came up short in a similar see-saw finish, losing, 62-58, in overtime.
“We’re very close, we play hard,” Burbank Coach Jerry DeLaurie said, “but we didn’t execute well at the end.”
The Bulldogs (10-12, 4-6 in league) found themselves in position late in the game against Muir (8-12, 5-5) when senior guard Cody Bosman drilled two free throws at just under the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter to knot the score at 56.
And after a pair of defensive stops, they took over possession near center court with 14 seconds to go. But on a drive to the basket, senior guard Richard Elmoyan’s pass was intercepted when he attempted to throw it across the key to senior forward Adam Pasco, who was standing near the basket.
“Our execution,” DeLaurie said. “We had a chance to win it right down there, but turned the ball over. Missed free throws. It’s what’s been going on all year. You know, if we want to be able to beat a good team, we’ve got to be able to do that.”
Burbank also shot less than 50% from the free-throw line, missing eight of its 14 attempts, including two costly misses in the overtime period.
Trailing, 33-29, at halftime, Burbank came out firing in the second half. A converted three-pointer launched several feet beyond the top of the arc from senior forward Danny Terrones gave the Bulldogs a 47-46 lead – its first of the game – in the waning moments of the third quarter.
But it could never inch ahead by much more. Over the final period, neither team lead by more than two points, seeing several late lead changes.
Senior center Anthony Kardosh led Burbank with 13 points, scoring several key baskets down the stretch. Elmoyan added 11 points, while Pasco and Terrones each finished with 10. Burbank’s starters combined for 48 points.
But nobody was as prolific as Muir’s top two seniors, as guard Dejon William went off for 18 points, and 6-foot-6 center Arinze Anakwenze had 16.
Anakwenze proved especially tough for Burbank to handle, especially in the paint. He scored all of his 16 points in the key.
“He made it real tough for us,” DeLaurie said. “His presence in there really gave us some problems.”
Monday’s loss proves also especially costly for the Bulldogs, as Muir, by virtue of the win, moves into sole possession of fourth place in the Pacific League. The top four teams automatically advance to the playoffs. Burbank, which has dropped three of its last four games, sits in fifth place with four games remaining in league play.
“We have to start hoping people lose,” DeLaurie said. “Up to nine games in league we controlled our own destiny. Now we don’t.”