Based upon the opening half of last Friday night’s Pacific League opener between host Burbank High and Arcadia, it seemed likely to end in a blowout.
It didn’t as the Bulldogs struggled in the second half and had to hold on for a 52-46 win as the Apaches came within two points and 4:18 showing in the fourth quarter after being down by 15 points at the intermission.
Andy Yanikyan tallied a game-best 20 points for the Bulldogs, who shot 42.3 percent (22 of 52) from the floor, and outrebounded the Apaches, 34-32.
“We had a similar game against Grant [a 54-49 win],” said Burbank Head Coach Jerry DeLaurie. “We had a big lead at the half against a good City Section team, and we had to hang on for the win. Tonight we didn’t have the energy. We were looking at the scoreboard and we became complacent. We thought the game was over.”
Ben Bowen’s hoop got Arcadia within 44-42, but when Sarkis Karian (four points) stole the ball and put in a layup, the Bulldogs righted the ship and led by four points.
Burbank (9-5 and 1-0 in league) dashed to an 18-9 first-quarter lead as Yanikyan scored eight points, while Richard Elmoyan (10 points) and Adam Pasco (six points) each added four.
The Apaches (5-9 and 0-1 in league) were outscored, 13-7, in the second quarter after making three of 14 shots.
“We’ve got a lot of seniors but they haven’t played on the varsity,’’ said Arcadia Head Coach Ben Cordeiro. “We did a great job in the second half. We challenged them in the second half and they forced a lot of turnovers.”
Burbank converted 40 percent (12 of 30) shots from the floor in the opening half as Yanikyan scored 12 points, while the Apaches made eight of 26 (30.7 percent).
Arcadia’s Kevin Gill (five points) came out in the third quarter and canned a three-pointer, but the Apaches failed on their next four attempts before Brian Taylor (seven points) scored.
Bowen (team-best 14 points) scored on a follow-up that cut Burbank’s lead to 31-23 with 4:25 left, and Arcadia made three of four late including a three-pointer from Stephen Smith (nine points).
Burbank led 44-31 entering the fourth quarter as Yanikyan and Elmoyan each dropped in four points.
Arcadia missed its first shot in the final quarter, but then rattled home five straight as Bowen scored seven points and Smith four.