Column: Braelee Albert, Brentwood stun Burbank in overtime

Braelee Albert makes game-winning three in OT win over Burbank.

In 91 years, Burbank High has never won a basketball championship. The Bulldogs were 4.1 seconds away from celebrating a Southern Section Division 3AA boys’ title on Friday night. All they had to do in overtime was not let Brentwood make a three-pointer.

The Eagles inbounded the ball into the backcourt to 6-foot-5 sophomore Braelee Albert. He took one dribble, then went behind his back while closely guarded by Cameron Sweeten. Albert somehow got up an off-balance shot from beyond the top of the arc and it went in as the buzzer sounded. Brentwood celebrated a 55-54 victory at Azusa Pacific University. Stunned Burbank players didn’t know how to react.

“We call him ‘Braelee the Beast,’” Brentwood Coach Ryan Bailey said.


Albert missed two free throws in overtime with 12.6 seconds left. He missed the front end of a one-and-one that could have clinched victory in regulation, setting the stage for Sweeten to make a game-tying shot just before the buzzer.

But in overtime, Albert delivered to give Brentwood its first title since 1991. He finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds.

Bailey said Albert was supposed to look for Charley Wadler, Brentwood’s best three-point shooter, but Burbank defended him well.

“He chucked it up there and it went in,” Burbank Coach Jamayne Potts said.

Faraz Khandaker scored 18 points for Burbank.

Earlier, senior guard Jessica Malazarte earned a place in Torrance Bishop Montgomery lore after her three-pointer with 29 seconds left erased a two-point deficit and was the key basket in the Knights’ 41-38 victory over Huntington Beach in the 1A girls’ title game.

After Sophia Carroll made two free throws for Bishop Montgomery with 3.1 seconds left, Huntington Beach tried a desperation shot. It didn’t come close, and the Knights celebrated.

Kayla Padilla scored 15 points and Malazarte had 14 for the Knights. Francesca Wade-Sanchez had 29 points and 17 rebounds for Huntington Beach, the Sunset League champion.

The Bishop Montgomery boys’ team will go for the Open Division championship Saturday night at Honda Center against Santa Ana Mater Dei.

In the 1A boys’ championship game, freshman Johnny Juzang scored 21 points and Cassius Stanley added 16 to help Studio City Harvard-Westlake defeat Pasadena, 68-58. Bryce Hamilton scored 30 points for Pasadena.

In the 2A girls’ final at Godinez High, Lawndale Leuzinger defeated Los Angeles Marlborough, 60-36. Brooke Scott had 25 points.

In the City Section Division II boys’ final at Roybal, Gardena beat Carson, 64-52, with Dominique Alexander scoring 17 points.

Follow Eric Sondheimer on Twitter @latsondheimer