Burbank splits double dip with Muir

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The Burbank Bulldogs split their second game of another double-header, this one against the John Muir Mustangs. The boys dropped the opening game by a final score of 77-68, and the girls came out on top with a low-scoring 47-42 win. The teams also split the last meeting back on Tuesday, December 5th. On that day, the boy’s team won 63-56 and the girl’s team lost 56-54 back at Muir High School in Pasadena.

Both boys’ programs came into the contest off of losses. Burbank lost a heartbreaker 58-56 to Eastside, while Muir fell 77-56 to Arcadia. Kevin Dabashian, Mo Shareef, and Bradley Jones played well in the 1st quarter to help both teams end in a tie in the 1st period of play. Shareef hit the buzzer-beating layup to tie the game at 19. Oj Blankson got the Bulldogs the lead to start the second quarter with a 3-point basket to give them a 22-19 lead. Muir responded with 2 more points by Shareef with an and-1 conversion and a 2-point shot to give them the lead. Dabashian responded with a 2-point shot of his own to tie the game at 24. Muir pulled away as the quarter went on to give them a 42-32 lead at the half.

Burbank was looking for answers to get back into the contest, but only found a way to cut the Muir deficit to 8 at the end of the 3rd quarter. Blankson jump-started the rally with an and-1 conversion to cut the lead to 5 to start the 4th quarter. Muir had answers to pull away from Burbank and came out with a huge road victory over Burbank.

“Our kids played hard and battled with Muir, we cut the lead to 4 at one point but needed one play to put pressure on the Mustangs,” said Burbank head coach Steve Eshleman. When asked about Kamaron Alborzian and OJ Blankson’s combined 42-point performance Eshleman admitted that it was not just 2 players that got it done it was a team effort. Mo Shareef and Bradley Jones combined with 36 points for the Mustangs in the win over Burbank.

Muir improves to 7-11 overall and 2-5 in Pacific League play. The Mustangs leapfrog Burbank in the standings to move into 6th place while Burbank falls to 5-16 overall and 1-6 in Pacific League play and drops to 7th place in the Pacific League. Both teams will face their crosstown rivals on Friday, January 12th, with Burbank taking on the Burroughs Bears on the road and Muir playing at Pasadena High School against a super Bulldog team at 6:45 PM.

To conclude the night, the Lady Bulldogs tipped off the second game of the doubleheader against the Lady Mustangs. The Bulldogs only scored 3 points in the 1st quarter while the Mustangs started the game off strong. Muir ended the opening period of play with a 13-3 lead over Burbank. Andrea Aparacio stopped Muir’s scoring run with a 2-point basket. Aparicio continued to rally the team with her strong offense and eventually led them to overcome a 10-point deficit to give the Bulldogs a 21-17 lead at halftime.

While Burbank continued its strong showing in the 3rd quarter, Muir found a way to come back in the game and tie the score heading into the final quarter of play. Nikela Damasen and Aparacio continued their strong performances in the final period to help the Bulldogs extend their win streak to 2. Damasen and Apracio both combined for 30 points in the win for Burbank, while Alyssa Holmes and Amari Wilson both combined with 25 points in the loss.

“We came out flat defensively in the 1st quarter, but in quarter 2 we ramped up the defensive intensity to help the offense do its thing,” said Lady Bulldogs coach Kris Jacoubrian. Jacoubrian went on to say that Damasen stepped up in a big way tonight in the win and Aparicio missed 8 layups and 5 free throws despite having 15 points.

Burbank improves to 6-13 overall and moves within a game of .500 in Pacific League play with a record of 3-4 with Muir dropping to 6-10 overall and 3-4 in the Pacific League. Burbank will take on crosstown rival Burroughs at John Burroughs High School on Friday, January 12th at 5:15 PM while Muir will also take on crosstown rival Pasadena at Pasadena High School on the same day and same time.

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