Linda rises to occasion

BOYS' BASKETBALL: Burbank comes away with league win in heated 62-57 battle at rival Burroughs.

January 20, 2007

blr-RivalBoysHoops20.TextA522USR7BOYS' BASKETBALL: Burbank comes away with league win in heated 62-57 battle at rival Burroughs.Credit: TAMMY ABBOTT The Leader Caption: Burbank High's Robert Linda drives to the basket against Burroughs' Daniel Steffey during Friday's Pacific League game at Burroughs. The Bulldogs won, 62-57. blr-RivalBoysHoops20TextAT22TMHDGabrielThe Leader BURROUGHS HIGHBURROUGHS HIGH — Friday night's game was a patch of familiar territory amid an uncharted league schedule for the Burbank and Burroughs boys' basketball teams.

In both teams' first season in the Pacific League, the former Foothill League neighbors convened at Burroughs for another installment of their rivalry, and the action on the court did not disappoint.

A tug-of-war fourth quarter was settled by a Robert Linda three-pointer that gave the Bulldogs a five-point advantage with 51 seconds remaining, en rout to a 62-57 victory.


"I saw the open shot and I knew I'd be able to make it, so I threw it up and it went in," said Linda, who led Burbank with 19 points and 12 rebounds. "Luckily it went in. When I went back to the bench, Coach [Jose Hernandez] even told me I was lucky it went in."

The shot came on a broken play; a frantic kick-out to Linda on the perimeter following an offensive rebound.

"It wasn't luck in terms of [Linda's] skill," Hernandez said. "It's just not what we drew up.

"He's a great player and has total confidence in himself. It was a big-time shot and a big-time win."

Following the shot, Burroughs' Chris Smith (10 points, six rebounds and five assists) drove to the basket and cut the lead to 58-53, while being fouled with 37 seconds left. But Smith missed the foul shot, rebounded the miss and shot, but could not convert.

After Burbank's Pedro Armendarez converted one of two free throws, Smith got to the line again for two shots with 22 seconds remaining. But again he came up empty.

The Indians (4-2 in league) missed their final five free throws, and made just six of 15 in the fourth period.

"It didn't come down to free-throw shooting, it came down to really, really poor shot selection by us and our inability to run any clock," said Indians Coach Art Sullivan, whose team took a four-point lead with under four minutes left in the fourth quarter, but was outscored, 13-4, down the stretch. "We threw up three-pointers with maybe five or 10 seconds gone off the shot clock and let them rebound it.

"If it ended up in free throws, it was because we were so undisciplined with the ball that we had to foul."

Burbank (10-6, 3-3 in league) led by four after the first quarter, and by just one at the half.

The Bulldogs opened up a 43-37 lead following an 8-2 run to end the third quarter.

Burroughs came back to take its first lead of the second half on a three-point play by Smith with 4:10 to play in the fourth.

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