GLENDALE — Thanks to a hounding press defense, the Burbank High boys’ basketball team not only picked up a valuable and impressive victory over host Glendale High on Tuesday evening, but the Bulldogs might have also salvaged their postseason chances while taking some momentum into Friday’s showdown with crosstown archrival Burroughs.
Burbank forced 20 turnovers and took control of the Pacific League contest in the second quarter en route to 57-45 victory at Nitros gym.
With the victory, the Bulldogs improved to 9-9 overall and 3-3 in league and will host Burroughs (13-5, 5-1), an upset victim Wednesday, on Friday at 7 p.m.
Glendale (6-10, 2-4) has its own intracity rivalry game Friday versus Hoover (11-7, 2-4).
“This is a testament to the hard work of this team. You know we lost that Muir game in five overtimes [on Jan. 13] and then to Crescenta Valley and we were down,” Burbank Coach Jerry DeLaurie said. “To be at 3-3 heading into the rivalry game is great. These kids are starting to believe.”
Burbank took control in the second quarter after initially trailing, 10-8, at the end of the first period.
The Bulldogs’ combination of full-court and half-court pressure caused havoc primarily in the second as Glendale committed nine turnovers and was outscored, 26-7.
Glendale’s last advantage of the contest came at 14-12 with 6:23 remaining after an offensive rebound and put back from junior forward Alex Miralis (16 points and nine rebounds).
From that point, Burbank closed the quarter with a 22-3 run, including scoring the next seven points to go up for good thanks in part to the efforts of guard Richard Elmoyan (15 points and four steals).
The senior put the Bulldogs ahead, 16-14, with 5:17 remaining on an offensive put back off a missed three-pointer from Cody Bosman.
Just about five seconds later, Elmoyan pressured Glendale’s guards and forced a turnover at mid-court, which led to a breakaway and him being fouled on a missed layup attempt.
Elmoyan hit one of two free throws before again stealing possession away from the Nitros and sprinting downcourt.
Rather than finish, Elmoyan dished to Anthony Kardosh, who scored a game-high 18 points, for a layup with 4:20 as Burbank took a 19-14 lead that eventually ballooned to 34-17 at the half.
“We put in a lot of hard work for this game. Our preparation was outstanding and coach DeLaurie’s plan was great,” Elmoyan said. “We came in on Saturday and really worked on our defense. If we’re going to win in league, we’re going to have to play defense like today.”
Glendale tried its best to climb back into the contest, first rallying to within 38-24 at 2:38 in the third on an offensive put back by 6-foot-8 center Arthur Terzyan on what was the senior’s first basket of the game.
Yet, Burbank came right back with a dunk from Kardosh off an assist from Elmoyan on the next possession to push the visitors back up 16.
“[Terzyan] is a tough guy to guard and you have to give a lot of credit to Anthony and Adam Pasco for their post defense,” said Elmoyan, as Terzyan was held to six shots. “We tried as much as we could to deny any passes inside to him. We attacked their guards so they couldn’t get him the ball.”
Glendale’s best surge came late as the Nitros trimmed their deficit to 51-39 after a three-pointer from Raffi Jivalagian (12 points and six rebounds) with 3:14 remaining in the game.
As expected, Burbank again countered with Elmoyan, who scored on an up-and-under four-footer on the next possession as Glendale never closed to within single digits.
Mike Woods added 12 points for Burbank.
“Burbank is a great pressure team when they want to be and they were at times today and we had trouble handling the ball,” Nitros Coach Steve Snodgress said. “We knew we were going to have issues in the post, but Burbank outworked us and we were sloppy. Obviously, we’ll have to improve on that.”