By Austin Green
Burbank High school erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter and got clutch baskets from senior captains Vartan Avetisyan, Elmer Reyes and Kelton Shea in overtime to stun Crescenta Valley 66-63 on the road on Tuesday.
The Falcons had led by as many as 13 at one point, but CV went 3 for 9 from the field in the fourth quarter while Burbank poured in 22 points and added some fantastic interior defense from Shea.
After not attempting a shot in the first half, Shea came off the bench early in the third quarter when teammate Sattwik Banerjee picked up three quick fouls to give him four for the game. It presented one of Shea’s biggest opportunities this season — the senior captain has slowly been shaking off rust after spending a year away from any type of competitive basketball, taking extra care with COVID-19 precautions due to an immunocompromised brother.
Shea delivered, scoring seven points on 3 for 4 shooting in the fourth while notching several offensive rebounds and a blocked shot on defense. In overtime, his layup off a feed from Reyes helped seal the victory.
Shea said afterward that he felt like his rhythm is coming back, and his coach agreed.
“He’s our captain. He’s back,” Burbank head coach Sid Cooke said. “We needed Kelton, so I’m proud of him because he sacrificed a whole year for his brother.”
CV started strong thanks to guard Gavin Shagohian, who made five of his first six shots and had 12 points at halftime. The Falcons controlled the pace of the game and kept Burbank on its heels, allowing Shagohian several clear lanes to the basket.
The third quarter was more of the same, as Shagohian and Quinlan Daily combined for 12 points and stretched the lead to double digits.
“I thought at the start of the game, we really controlled the tempo,” CV head coach Shawn Zagarian said. “We weren’t in a hurry, so it allowed Gavin to get inside, attack the paint, make passes. I just thought our pace was really, really good. As a team for the most part in the first three-and-a-half quarters, I thought we did a great job.”
But Burbank hung around. Reyes had nine of the Bulldogs’ 11 points in the second quarter and Banerjee chipped in seven points in the third, helping prevent the Falcons from pulling away. The Bulldogs finally stormed back in the fourth, as Reyes hit two mid-range jumpers, Phoenix Megely buried a three-pointer, and Shea hit a three and had two putback layups. Burbank also prevented Shagohian from easy looks in the paint.
“Because we weren’t able to go down the other way and score, it allowed their pressure to bother us a little bit,” Zagarian said. “I also think Gavin got a little fatigued at the end and we couldn’t get the ball into him, and being inexperienced, it was hard to get ourselves in an offense, which led to turnovers.”
Avetisyan stepped up late, breaking out of a shooting slump to hit two clutch three-pointers to give Burbank the lead, but Allen Boghossian answered on the other end with a three of his own to put CV up by two.
Avetisyan’s mid-range fadeaway with six seconds remaining missed, but he was fouled on the play and hit both free throws, and Daily’s buzzer-beater attempt missed to send it into overtime.
Reyes put Burbank in the lead in the extra period with a putback layup and the Bulldogs never looked back from there, staying one step ahead of CV the rest of the way. The Falcons had a chance to tie it on two late three-point attempts from Boghossian, but both bounced off the rim.
“CV’s a great program, I love Shawn, but we couldn’t keep giving them opportunities,” Cooke said. “Once we slowed it down and really played good defense, and played hard, we had to match them. So it’s a tribute to [my players] — they started listening and they hunkered down… Hopefully this will help us grow as a program.”
Burbank improved to 5-1 on the season and 3-1 in Pacific League play before facing off against Arcadia on Friday. CV dropped to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in league before playing Pasadena on Friday.