BURBANK HIGH — The Burroughs High boys’ basketball team was probably hoping to ease into its season opener Tuesday. But Renaissance Academy was not going to let that happen.
In a pool-play game in the 42nd annual Bulldog Tip-Off Classic, the Wildcats welcomed the Indians to their new campaign with a swarming pressure defense that took Burroughs out of its game.
The defensive onslaught helped cause 24 Indians turnovers, allowing the Wildcats to breeze to a 49-25 victory at Burbank High.
“Our entire game is predicated around our defense,” said Renaissance Coach Sid Cook, whose team dropped its first game of the tournament Monday to a talented Crenshaw squad, 73-52. “But we have some new guys this year, and they are still learning how to do things.”
With a relatively inexperienced team, Burroughs Coach Adam Hochberg was hoping his Indians would be ready for a Renaissance squad they had prepared for.
“We had watched them against Crenshaw, and we knew what they were going to do,” he said. “We just weren’t able to do the things that we worked on. We talked about what we wanted to do but we just couldn’t execute.”
The Wildcats received a balanced scoring attack, led by senior Jessy Cantinol, who scored a game-high 12 points to go along with nine rebounds and three steals. Teammate Troy Fontinilla added 10 points and Jasper Hwang had eight.
The Wildcats (1-1) turned on the pressure early in the contest, forcing 11 Burroughs turnovers in the first quarter.
“Fifteen of their 20 points in that first quarter came off our turnovers,” Hochberg said. ‘We just can’t play like that.”
After one quarter, Renaissance held a 20-8 lead.
Burroughs cut down on its turnovers in the second quarter (two), and outscored the Wildcats, 8-7, to cut the lead at the half to 27-14.
But Renaissance came roaring back in the third quarter, outscoring the Indians, 11-5, to take a 38-14 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Burroughs received six points from sophomore Jorge Flores-Pere