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Jackson leads way for Indians in final

Jim Riggio

When the Burroughs High boys’ basketball team looks for a leader, it

usually turns to senior shooting guard Joey Paysinger.

But with Paysinger sidelined with flu for most of the Bell-Jeff


Holiday Classic, the Indians relied on leadership by committee to get

the job done.

And the Indian group got the job done in a big way.

Burroughs defeated Granada Hills Kennedy, 57-39, on Monday in the


championship game to win the tournament title.

In the championship game, it was Matt Jackson who took over the

role of being the long-distance shooting threat, as he hit three

three-pointers and had a game-high 17 points.

“Joey is a big part of our team, and I knew someone had to step

up,” Jackson said.

“Over the summer, we were spotting Joey up on the right, and me on

the left, and when teams zoned us, they wouldn’t stay in it too



Sal Inmaung, one of Burroughs’ two point guards, was named the

tournament’s most valuable player. He finished with eight points in

the final.

“Kennedy is a high-energy team, and we said we needed to control

the pace of the game and at no time were they the more energetic

team,” Burroughs Coach Art Sullivan said. “Their press didn’t bother



“We had a slow start to the season, but we’ve won five in a row.

We’ve played nice basketball the past week.”

Inmaung and Jef Radino helped break Kennedy’s press, which had

been a key to its success earlier in the tournament.

Sullivan said he was pleased with Jackson’s performance, and his

player’s ability to take over for Paysinger.

"[Jackson] had 20 in the first half the other night against

Bell-Jeff,” Sullivan said of the Indians’ 64-32 semifinal win on

Saturday. “He has a great stroke.”

Paysinger is due to return to the Indian lineup Friday when it

begins play in the Hart High Tournament.

“He only scored two points on Friday, and I took him out after the

first quarter,” Sullivan said of Paysinger.

Burroughs (7-4) dominated from the beginning, as a team effort was

highlighted by Levon Maronyan and Kris Jones taking control of the


Maronyan finished with 14 points and six rebounds and Jones had

three points and eight rebounds.

The Indians jumped out to a 21-10 first-quarter lead against

Kennedy (6-5).

Burroughs continued to extend its lead, as it went up, 36-19, at


Kennedy got as close as 26-15 in the second quarter, but Burroughs

went on an 8-0 run -- with four points each coming from Jackson and

Jon Van Keuren -- to quell the threat.

Burroughs continued to dominate in the third quarter, as Jackson

hit two three-pointers. The Indians led, 46-31, after three quarters.

In the third-place game on Monday, Bellarmine-Jefferson High fell

to L.A. Center for Enriched Studies, 79-55.

The Guards (4-3) cut into a 23-5 first-quarter deficit and trailed

by only seven points at halftime.

But the Guards could not continue the run. Brendon Doyle had 18

points and 11 rebounds, J.J. Mastropietro had 13 points and Brian

Alfaro had 12 for Bell-Jeff.