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Burbank boys' basketball cruises to victory in tournament opener

BURBANK — The Burbank High boys’ basketball team used its power in the paint to control much of its opening-round game against Sun Valley Magnet in the Burbank Tournament at Burbank High on Monday.

The Bulldogs used their athleticism to force 15 turnovers and out-bodied the Pioneers for 38 rebounds, 24 on the offensive end.

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Burbank’s strong display culminated in a dominant 85-37 victory against Sun Valley Magnet.

Despite the impressive showing and a positive start to its season thus far, Burbank first-year coach Ernest Baskerville looks for his team to continue improving.

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“Every game, the intensity level has to continue to rise,” Baskerville said. “I try to give them some talking points on [priorities], so today we worked on face-guarding someone, to guard the core end of the team, so our defense has to look better.”

Burbank senior forward Erik Harutyunyan scored 18 points and collected 12 rebounds, while senior guard Mile Dagostin added 16 points and two blocks for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs (3-0) set up a 12-0 run and established a 15-3 cushion in the first quarter behind 12 points from Dagostin.

“We moved the ball well,” Dagostin said. “Everyone found open shots and we played defense and turned it into offense.”

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Burbank closed the quarter with a 27-9 lead with six players scoring points..

“I just tried to use my body to get into good positions and attack the ball,” Harutyunyan said. “We came out with energy and we fed off that so it was pretty easy once you’re team is pumped.”

The Pioneers tried to claw their way back in the second quarter, drawing fouls and heading to the free-throw line with regularity. Sun Valley Magnet (2-2) scored 10 of its 14 second-quarter points from the charity stripe, as guard Beto Ochoa led the pack with six free throws.

“We missed a lot of layups in the first half,” Baskerville said. “A lot of it was trying to put it back and stuff. So third quarter, we didn’t shoot another three the rest of the second half. I said if anyone shoots another three they’re going to sit down.”

Regardless, the Bulldogs outscored the Pioneers, 22-14, in the frame to close out the half with a healthy 49-23 lead.

Then, Baskerville’s no three-point shots edict started to pay off as the Bulldogs embarked on a 15-0 run to start the second half.

“Sometimes when you have a game where you have an advantage, you tend to lull a little bit and not focus and I think we weren’t focused in that second quarter, and the third quarter, we did a lot better job,” Baskerville said.

Harutyunyan fueled Burbank’s scoring run as he made six of his seven third-quarter attempts for 12 points in the frame.

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“We just attacked the basket and we knew we had a size advantage so we used that to our benefit,” Harutyunyan said.

The Bulldogs held the Pioneers to just three points and scored only one three-pointer off of forward Kevin Sarkes lone attempt to close the third quarter with a 77-26 lead.

The Bulldogs maintained a 50-point lead for much of the fourth quarter, but were outscored 11-9 in the final frame.

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