Burroughs nabs first league win

BURBANK — It took two overtime periods to settle the Pacific League boys' basketball game between Hoover High and Burroughs in an exciting contest that lasted just under two hours Monday.

The two extra four-minute quarters concluded a tight contest in which neither team held more than a six-point lead in the second half.

With less than 30 seconds remaining in the second overtime, Burroughs' clutch shooting from the foul line and aggressive defense forced turnovers that turned out to be the difference in a 68-65 victory for the host Indians, who picked up their first win in league play this season.

"We needed to get a win by any means," said Indians Coach Adam Hochberg, whose squad snapped a 10-game losing streak. "At this point, it's mental. We're very fortunate to come away with this one."

The Tornadoes (8-13, 2-6 in league) led by four, 65-61, after a Jashley Francisco free throw with 32 seconds left in the second overtime. The Indians (8-13, 1-7) responded by closing out the game on a 7-0 run, highlighted by the forcing of a costly turnover which led to a three-point play for Ezekiel Zuniga.

The free throw after the basket gave the Indians their first lead of the second extra period, a lead they would not relinquish. The play also resulted in Hoover's second-leading scorer in the game, Nareg Essagholian, fouling out.

With 2.9 seconds remaining and in need of a three-point basket, the Tornadoes took the ball out and managed to get a good look. In an attempt to drain his sixth three-pointer of a well-played game, Andre Aladadyan's shot missed off the back board, sending the Tornadoes to their sixth loss in seven games — their first without leading scorer, Kyle Bernardo.

"We kept fighting, they kept fighting," said Tornadoes Coach Jack Van Patten, who had opened up league play with a win over the Indians Jan. 3. "Give them credit. They hung in there and took care of it at the end."

The Tornadoes looked to be in total control of the game early, leading by as many as 10 in the first half. But poor play late in the second quarter allowed the Indians to make a run and hold the lead going into halftime.

With less than two minutes left before the break, Burroughs' defense turned it up a notch, forcing the Tornadoes into turnovers on six-straight possessions, which led to 14 points.

Hoover connected on four three-pointers in the third quarter to retake the lead. After finishing the second quarter seven for eight on field goals, the Indians cooled off and made just three of 10 attempts in the third.

The Tornadoes sustained the lead until the 1:35 mark of the fourth quarter when another three-point play from Zuniga tied the score at 49. The teams tied the score on two other occasions thereafter. However, with time running out, an isolation play drawn up for Burroughs' Austyn Thompson never got past the three-point line, setting up the first overtime period.

"We had our chances to close the game out on free throws," said Van Patten, whose team missed four free throws down the stretch in regulation. "And we turned the ball over more times than I'd like, but give them kudos. They fought hard."

Aladadyan's 21 points led the way for the Tornadoes and was followed by Essagholian's 16 — two of which tied the game at 57 with 28 seconds remaining in the first overtime. Francisco added 13.

Thompson finished with a game-high 21 points and Zuniga chipped in with 19.

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