Burbank boys' basketball stymies rival Burroughs

BURBANK — Whenever Burbank High and Burroughs match up on the court in Pacific League boys' basketball, there is undeniably an extra motivation to win fueled by a healthy cross-town rivalry.

Although Burroughs came into both schools' regular season finale Thursday night already assured of a postseason berth and the Bulldogs came in already locked into fifth place in league and outside the Pacific's four automatic CIF Southern Section playoff berths, both had added incentive to win beyond the rivalry.

Burroughs was locked in a battle with Muir for third place and, with a win, Burbank would finish the season at .500 in both the Pacific and overall.

The rivalry added another chapter Thursday night in the Indians' home gym, which was packed to capacity before tip-off, forcing the hosts to turn away many at the door, as Burbank came out of the gate like a team possessed to run away with a 57-32 victory.

Burbank (13-13, 7-7), fueled by its defense and selflessness on offense, blew the Indians out of the water in the first quarter. The Bulldogs scored the first 15 points of the game and did not allow a point until there was 2:22 left in the quarter.

"We wanted to show the city of Burbank what defense was all about," Burbank Coach Jerry DeLaurie said.

The quarter ended without a Burroughs field goal and, after Bulldog Richard Elmoyan's steal and half-court three-pointer at the horn, Burbank led, 23-2.

"We wanted to come out aggressive and sock them right there," DeLaurie said.

Burroughs (16-10, 8-6) opened the second quarter with a three from the top of the key by Rashid Ewing and the Bulldogs offense came back to earth. However, despite the Indians taking the second quarter, 12-11, they still trailed, 34-14, at the break. That 20-point cushion was the same final winning margin the Indians held against the Bulldogs when they faced them earlier this season.

"Burbank was fantastic and we weren't. They wanted it more. They were the hungrier team," Burroughs Coach Adam Hochberg said. "They taught us a lesson of how you improve as the year goes along; we have stayed the same."

Burbank spread the wealth on offense with nine different scorers. Leading the way was Elmoyan with 11 points to go along with the senior's seven assists. Anthony Kardosh and Cody Bosman had nine, followed by Adam Pasco and freshman Mike Woods, who each had eight.

"When you talk about Burbank basketball it is unselfish, team oriented," DeLaurie said. "We don't care who gets the credit. We believe in each other and we trust each other. You could see that out there. It was incredible. If we can play like that I don't see why we couldn't win the league."

Burroughs would not reach the Bulldogs' first-quarter point total until Amaad Wainright opened the fourth quarter with a jumper. Wainright led his team in scoring with 15 points, while no other Indian had more than four.

If it was to be Burbank's last game it was one to go out on, although the Bulldogs could still be granted an at-large berth in the postseason.

"Out of my three years on varsity this [game] was my favorite one," Elmoyan said.

With Thursday's resounding loss, Burroughs, which went undefeated in the first half of league play before losing five of seven, still finishes the Pacific League season in the top four in league play for the first time since 2008-09. Next for the Indians, ranked in a tie for No. 16 in Division IIAA, will be the postseason against an opponent unknown until the CIF brackets are released at noon on Sunday.

"Bottom line is we are 0-0 and have new life," Hochberg said of his team's upcoming postseason opportunity.

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