Burroughs basketball defeats Prep in battle of depleted teams

PASADENA — The rosters from the Flintridge Prep and Burroughs boys' basketball teams that took the floor Thursday were not completely representative of the groups that will play for their respective squads next season.

That's because both the Rebels and Indians were missing major contributors who were absent from the La Salle High Summer League contest.

For Prep, it was without a few key players, including All-CIF Southern Section and All-Area standout Robert Cartwright. In turn, the Indians played without a few contributing players as well, namely Steven Hubbell.

On top of that, the teams were also missing their head coaches.

In the battle of the depleted squads, it was Burroughs that was able to take advantage of shooting struggles by the Rebels in the second half to cruise to a 57-37 victory at La Salle.

Burroughs, which went 15-12 last season and placed sixth in the Pacific League, didn't possess a lot of height or have many experienced players on the floor. In fact, the Indians have just two returners, and only two of those players saw any significant playing time last season.

"When we shoot the ball well I think we can play with just about any other team," Burroughs assistant coach Mario Fernandez said. "We definitely don't have much experience, and we aren't tall at all. But the guys are quick and they move the ball around well. We also have a group that is very unselfish."

One of Prep's key returners from a team that went to the CIF Southern Section Division V-AA semifinals and won the Prep League, while garnering a 22-7 record, is Kyle Hamane. He said after the team lost its share of players to graduation, the summer provides the opportunity for new players to get their feet wet on the varsity level.

"Some of these guys were on the JV level last year, so this is a good chance for them to see what varsity is like so they can get used to it and know what to expect," he said. "We lost six or seven seniors, so we are going to have to need some of these guys to step up and contribute."

Hamane definitely contributed against Burroughs, recording 16 points.

Burroughs and Prep played relatively evenly in the first half. The Rebels, without Coach Garrett Ohara, were able to jump out to a modest 6-2 lead before Burroughs battled back. The Indians took the lead, 18-16, on a basket by Jordan Bridges with less than seven minutes remaining in the 20-minute stanza.

But the Rebels were able to regain the lead and go up, 22-19, when Evan Monroe (11 points) drained a three-pointer with 3:02 left. However, that lead was short-lived, as the Indians went back on top, 25-22, and went into halftime with a 30-24 cushion.

In the second half, Burroughs received a spark from one of its few returners, Chris Hovasapian, who scored all of his 12 points in the frame.

"I was kind of a shadow last season, playing behind other guys and watching the other players," Hovasapian said. "But I learned a lot from them. Hopefully next season I'll be able to step in and help out. I just have to work a little more on my game."

Burroughs moved the ball around well and defended well in the second half. It was also able to take advantage of shooting struggles from the floor by Prep.

The Rebels converted only one of their first 11 shots from the field to open the second half. That allowed the Indians to surge in front.

With their struggles, the Rebels couldn't make a game of it in the second half. They ended the half shooting four for 23.

"In that second half we really got out on their shooters, and that's not something that we did very well in the first half," Fernandez said. "We really increased our intensity and our press and it worked for us."

John Cutone added 12 points for Burroughs.

jeff.tully@latimes.com

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