Without two top players, Burroughs boys' basketball falls in playoffs

With its two top players no longer on the team, the Burroughs High boys' basketball team was undermanned when it traveled to Placentia Valencia on Friday for its CIF Southern Section Division II-AA first-round game.

The Indians simply didn't have enough talent to stay with the Tigers, as Valencia rolled to a 61-38 victory.

"The guys gave a great effort tonight and I ended up going with a lot of youth," Burroughs Coach Adam Hochberg said. "We were a little careless with the ball at certain times, but I thought we executed things pretty well.

"They were just a good team. They made six [three-pointers] in the first half and ended up with eight in the game. We tried to claw our way back, but we just couldn't make enough shots."

Burroughs (16-11) — which tied for third place in the Pacific League — was led by junior Chris Hovasapian, who had 13 points. Junior David Schwer added eight points.

Valencia (19-8), the 16th seed and a second-place squad out of the Empire League, jumped out in front early, taking a 35-20 advantage into the half.

"Our guys played, really, really hard," Hochberg said. "and I'm proud of that."

Hochberg confirmed late Thursday that starting senior transfers Amaad Wainright and Rashid Ewing had left the team.

Both players transferred to Burroughs from Kansas City, Mo. during the offseason and played just one abbreviated season for the Indians.

"Wainwright and Ewing have quit the team and left school," Hochberg said Thursday. "They left the team over the weekend and checked out of school Tuesday. Yeah, they bailed out on us."

Hochberg said a problem with the players' grades, along with being homesick, prompted them to depart Burroughs and go back home to Missouri.

"The big part of it was a graduation issue at Burroughs," the coach said. "There was a problem that the district wasn't giving them credit for some of the classes and they were going to have to go to adult school. They hadn't started that and basically they were offered a better deal to go back home, where they don't have to make up those classes and they can graduate."

On Wainright's Twitter account, he said good bye to his friends at Burroughs.

"This is for everyone at John Burroughs. I just want to say thank you for everything y'all have done for me and my cousin. I enjoyed y'all," it read.

Ewing also took to his Twitter account in response to his departure.

"Respect to all JBHS Fans (sic) and students and all the friends I made at Burroughs," it read. "I'm going to miss you too, good luck in playoffs."

With the duo, Burroughs went 16-10 and tied for third in the Pacific League with an 8-6 record. The Indians went 6-1 and tied for first place in league after the first round, but slipped to 2-5 in the second round.

Wainright led Burroughs in scoring, averaging 24.9 points a game. He also averaged 12.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 3.1 steals and 1.9 blocks. In addition, he averaged double figures in every game and his season high was 43 against Valencia on Dec 4.

Ewing averaged 15.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 steals a game.

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