Boys’ basketball notes: Burroughs finds direction

first_imgThey appeared to be a confused group, seemingly without much direction. A lucky bunch that essentially backed into the playoffs, finishing just ahead of Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta and Burbank to secure the Pacific League’s fourth and final automatic postseason berth. Burroughs (17-11), however, has opened some eyes with three consecutive Div. II-AA victories and can no longer be overlooked heading into tonight’s quarterfinal game against host Murrieta Valley (19-10). It’s been quite a memorable run for the Indians thus far. A four-point wild-card victory over Buena Park a week and half ago started things off and a 74-61 upset over 14th seeded and Miramonte League champion Diamond Ranch of Pomona followed. Few could have expected Tuesday’s 85-73 stunner over fourth-seeded and Southwestern League champion Temecula Valley, though. “Confidence is key and we have it,” Sullivan said. “We’re not sneaking up on people anymore.” Don’t look now: Renaissance Academy of La Canada has quietly gone about emerging as one of the area’s better programs, but things might not remain that way for much longer if the team continues its current run of success. The Wildcats (26-1), who advanced to the Div. V-A championship game in each of the past three years, took the challenge of moving into the more competitive Div. III-A this season, and find themselves in tonight’s semifinal game against host Perris (18-8). “Hey, we’re just trying to survive here,” Renaissance Academy coach Sid Cooke said. “The guys are beginning to realize just how tough this level of basketball is. We’re finding out where we stand.” Justin Cook, Hector Harold, Josh Thomas, Anthony Stover and the rest of the second-seeded Wildcats figure to have their hands full with the sixth-seeded Panthers, who won the Sunbelt League title and have won their first three playoff games by an average of 13 points. Collision course: As expected, the top two seeds in Div. V-A, Rosamond and Desert of Edwards Air Force Base, respectively, are still alive in the postseason race and appear destined for a showdown in the championship game at Colony High in Ontario on either March 2 or 3. The Roadrunners (22-6) narrowly escaped elimination Tuesday, defeating Villanova Prep of Ojai, 51-50, in a quarterfinal game. All that stands in between them and an appearance in the finals is sixth-seeded Thacher of Ojai (14-4) in tonight’s game at Nordhoff High in Ojai. Desert (21-2), on the other hand, has had a relatively easy time advancing, defeating opponents by an average of 46 points. The Scorpions face St. Bonaventure of Ventura (13-11) in the other semifinal tonight at Buena High in Ventura. [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Most considered the Burroughs of Burbank boys’ basketball team as somewhat of an underachiever when the Southern Section playoffs began. The Indians did, after all, enter the postseason with a less than spectacular 14-11 overall record, losing three consecutive games to close out the regular season, by an average of 13 points no less. center_img “There’s instant gratification when you’re in the playoffs and these guys understand that,” Indians coach Art Sullivan said. “If we lose, there’s no tomorrow. “We’re playing with a sense of urgency.” Burroughs has been getting things done without a true star. Several players contribute, including Chris Smith, a junior who is averaging 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists per game. Jordan Lopez leads the team in scoring with 15 points per game and fellow senior Marty Shin has been equally important, averaging four assists per game. “I have an unselfish group here and that’s been key,” Sullivan said. last_img read more