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Burbank just can’t hang with Hoover

Hamlet Nalbandyan

Kirt Kohlmeier knows just how crucial a victory is, even if it

came against a Burbank High team his squad walloped by 28 points.

That’s because the Hoover boys’ basketball team has come up one

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win shy of making the postseason the past two years, and Monday’s

86-58 nonleague victory against host Bulldogs just might end up being

the win that puts Hoover in the CIF Southern Section playoffs for the

first time since 1997.

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“This was big,” said Kohlmeier, whose squad improved to 7-7 by

doing just about anything it wanted against a depleted Bulldog squad.

“For two years in a row, we’ve missed the playoffs by one game,

and that’s tough [to take].

“But we’ve played some good teams this year, and I’m happy with

where we’re at right now.”

Hoover made 33 of its 60 shots from the field (55%). And the best

part of its offensive explosion was that it took its starters out

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with five minutes to go in the game and still increased its 25-point

lead.

“There’s been games where we’ve shot 25% from the field, so I

guess tonight just balances things out,” said a joking Kohlmeier.

There was plenty for the Tornadoes to joke about Monday.

Hoover turned a four-point lead at the end of one quarter to 13 by

halftime and 26 by the end of the third quarter.

The reason for the surge was the play of point guard Armen

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Baghdasarian. The third-year varsity player was red hot from the

field, finishing with a game-high 25 points.

The bulk of his scoring came in the second and third quarters,

when he hit all seven of his three-pointers. The senior finished nine

of 18 from the field, including seven of 11 from behind the arc, with

seven assists, six rebounds and three steals.

“I’ve been in a shooting slump recently, so I can’t really

remember the last time I’ve been this hot,” Baghdasarian said.

Of course, Baghdasarian wasn’t the only one getting to Burbank

(5-7). Fellow senior Ara Mahdessian scored 22 points -- 15 in the

second half -- grabbed seven rebounds and tallied five assists and

Chris Rivera added 14 points and five assists.

It was the complete opposite scenario for Burbank, but there was

good reason for that.

The Bulldogs recently lost four of their players to reasons

varying from injuries to academic ineligibility, with one of them

being star point guard Kevin Greene.

But that’s not the only bad news circling the Bulldog program.

According to some coaches around the Southland, they allege Geene, a

senior this year, was also a senior two years ago at Venice High,

where first-year Bulldog Coach Dave Goosen was coaching.

Goosen had no comment about the Greene situation -- or about the

game -- after Monday’s loss.

Burbank was led by usual sharpshooter Kamen Lane, who finished

with 17 points -- mostly on three-pointers.

However, the guard made just five of 16 from behind the arc,

leading a list of Bulldogs who struggled from the field.

Goosen’s group managed to make just 20 of 54 from the field, a

woeful 37%.

However, the Bulldogs did look respectable in the first half,

scoring 33 points, thanks mainly to the fact they made 12 of their 13

free-throw attempts.

Burbank also hit five of 12 from three-point range and hung with

the Tornadoes for the most part.

But a miserable third quarter changed all that. The Bulldgos

scored just eight points -- compared to Hoover’s 21 -- and allowed Baghdasarian to hit his first four three-point attempts in the

period.

BOX SCORE

Hoover 20 26 21

19 -- 86

Burbank 16 17 8

17 -- 58

HOOVER

Baghdasarian 25, 7 assists and 3 steals, Mahdessian 22,

7 rebounds and 5 assists, Rivera 14 and 5 assists, Assadourian 7,

Rostami 6 and 4 assists, Mankikian 4, Madidi 4, Keshishian 2,

Mingleton 2.

* Three-pointers: Baghdasarian 7, Rivera 2.

BURBANK

Lane 17, Khodanyan 14 and 4 assists, Ballas 8, Maskell

6, Mardyan 4, Chambers 4, Rodriguez 2, Shartbatdar 2, Sogoyan 1.

* Three-pointers: Lane 5, Khodanyan 2.


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