GLENDALE — Needing a score, the Burroughs High boys’ basketball team put the ball in the hands of Jakob Davis with less than a minute remaining.
He gladly accepted the responsibility before making a key basket.
Davis converted on a three-point play with 42 seconds left to help lift Burroughs to a 55-52 win against St. Francis on Friday in a Glendale Community College Classic contest.
Davis came down the right side before getting past a pair of St. Francis defenders to score and give Burroughs a 53-52 advantage.
“We were down and I just had to find a way to get to the basket and score,” said Davis, who finished with 13 points, who hit a floater as he was fouled to tie the game at 52 and, as per the summer tournament rules, was awarded the subsequent free throw for an automatic three-point play. “I had to split the defenders heading to the basket and I was able to score and get fouled.
“I thought we moved the ball well on offense toward the end and St. Francis played good defense.”
St. Francis, which played several of its junior varsity players because several normal varsity starters had previous engagements, missed on its ensuing possession with eight seconds to go before fouling Burroughs’ Steven Hubbell. Hubbell missed a free-throw attempt with 5.2 seconds left, but teammate Angelo Solis grabbed the offensive rebound and was immediately fouled. Solis made both free throws to make it 55-52 and a desperation three-point attempt by the Golden Knights came up short.
Burroughs Coach Adam Hochberg, whose team held a 24-21 halftime lead, said plenty of suspense unfolded in the closing minutes of a back-and-forth game.
“That was a big basket by Jakob,” said Hochberg, who received 12 points from Solis. “He’s an X-factor for us with his inside and outside game and he was able to get to the basket for a good shot on that three-point play.
“St. Francis is an extremely well-coached team and they know how to execute. I’m happy we were able to come back on them.”
Brett Gangi gave the Golden Knights, who advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division III-A championship game and then the second round of the state tournament last season, a 50-48 lead with 1:31 remaining. On St. Francis’ next possession, Eric Bagdasaryan made two free throws with 52.7 seconds to play before Davis gave the Indians the lead for good.
Michael Allen, the lone starter from last season’s team to compete Friday, paced St. Francis with 12 points and Bagdasaryan added 10.
St. Francis co-Coach Ray O’Brien said the Golden Knights turned in a valiant performance.
“Five of the seven guys we had today are from the junior varsity team,” O’Brien said. “So, that’s good experience for them to get involved in a game like this.
“We had a lead that we let slip away. At the same time, I’m please that we were able to stay in there with them.”
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich.