BURBANK — Despite scoring four points within the final seven seconds, three coming on a buzzer-beating bucket, the Burbank High boys’ basketball team came up just short versus visiting Golden Valley, 55-54, in Friday evening’s fifth place game of the Burbank Varsity Holiday Tournament at Burbank High.
With the defeat, the Bulldogs finished with a 2-2 record in their own tournament, which didn’t sit well with coach Jerry DeLaurie.
“The difference was toughness. Golden Valley was just tougher and they wanted it more. We weren’t tough and that’s really disappointing,” DeLaurie said. “Toughness isn’t just physicality, but being mentally tough in getting rebounds, making free throws and getting stops and we didn’t do enough of anything.”
The game appeared all but over after Golden Valley guard Tristan Peralta (13 points and seven steals) hit a pair of free throws with 16 seconds remaining that gave the Grizzlies (4-2) a 55-50 advantage and led the Bulldogs to call a timeout.
After the stoppage, Burbank senior guard Danny Terrones attempted a three-pointer that hit off the front of the rim and was rebounded by teammate Anthony Kardosh, who was fouled with seven seconds left.
Kardosh sank his first free throw and rimmed out on the second, which was rebounded by the Grizzlies, who attempted to dribble out the clock.
Before Golden Valley could close the game, however, the Bulldogs came up with a steal that led to a three-pointer from senior forward Richard Elmoyan (10 points) as time expired.
Even though DeLaurie and the Bulldogs’ coaching staff appealed to the referees that a second remained on the clock, their argument fell on deaf ears.
“We didn’t do enough to win this game. We were just too lethargic on defense,” said Kardosh, who tied Adam Pasco with a team-high 14 points. “This was a disappointing loss.”
Burbank trailed by nine points with 3:21 remaining in the contest when it made a push, first closing the gap to 53-48 on an inside bucket followed by a layup from Kardosh, as the latter basket came with 2:01 remaining and brought the Bulldogs within 53-48.
The Bulldogs then further tightened the screws when, after a Grizzlies turnover, Elmoyan converted a 10-footer with 1:18 left that sliced the home team’s deficit to 53-50.
While Burbank forced another turnover six seconds later, the Bulldogs missed their chance to tie the contest or pull within one on a costly traveling violation with 48 seconds remaining.
“It was mistakes that hurt us,” Terrones said. “We made too many to win.”
A loss didn’t seem a reality after Burbank stormed out to a 16-8 lead after one quarter thanks in part to a Bulldogs defense that forced seven turnovers.
That advantage quickly evaporated, though, as the Grizzlies won the second quarter, 21-11, in taking a 29-27 advantage into the break.
While neither team did particularly well in the third quarter, Golden Valley won the period in going up, 43-38, behind the solid player of center Jordan Watkins, who totaled 15 points and eight rebounds after sitting out the first quarter.
More than its 13 turnovers, Burbank hurt its chances at winning with shaky free-throw shooting as the Bulldogs finished 13 of 22 (59%).
“When you go up 16-8 after one quarter, you have to finish off a team. We didn’t do that,” DeLaurie said. “We got complacent and we allowed ourselves to be beaten.”