Burbank defeated in final

BOYS’ BASKETBALL: Bulldogs fall to Renaissance Academy for second straight year in own tournament, 63-40.

December 05, 2007|By Gabriel Rizk

BURBANK HIGH— While the Burbank High boys’ basketball team would have liked nothing more than to avenge the championship loss in its host tournament from a year ago, Renaissance Academy made sure from the beginning of Saturday night’s rematch that the Bulldogs’ chance to even the score would never materialize.

The Wildcats used a game-high 20 points from senior Justin Cook and an impenetrable interior defense to keep Burbank at arm’s length throughout their 63-40 title defense in the 39th Annual Bulldog Tip-Off Classic.

“We knew [the Bulldogs] are a good team that can shoot, so we just wanted to pressure them full court,” said Cook, who also had eight rebounds and four assists. “We got some steals and went up quick....We tried to force them to the basket [in their halfcourt offense] because our big men block everything.”


Cook’s synopsis neatly sums up the Wildcats’ strategy, which proved to be highly effective.

Turnovers on the Bulldogs’ first two possessions put them in a 4-0 hole with less than one minute elapsed.

Denied open looks on the perimeter, Burbank was forced to attack the teeth of the Wildcat’s defense.

Anthony Stover anchored that unit Saturday with 10 blocks, including one which sparked a fast break, finished by Yader Combs (six points, three assists) for an 8-2 lead at the 5:00 mark.

“We wanted to make them put it on the floor, and then we can cover and help out,” Wildcats Coach Sid Cooke said. “We’re trying to do a better job of that.”

Four and a half minutes into the game, Renaissance (4-0) had already built a commanding 14-2 lead and taken much of the composure out of the Bulldogs (3-1).

“Renaissance is a great team and you’ve almost gotta play flawless against them,” said Burbank Coach Jose Hernandez, whose team lost, 51-44, to the Wildcats in the final of last year’s Classic. “Our guys got a little excited early on and we weren’t as patient as we had planned to be.

“We wanted to make sure that we got the best possible shots, but I thought we came out and panicked a little bit.”

Renaissance led 19-8 after the first quarter, and 41-23 at halftime on a putback by Tremaine Tatum (11 points, five rebounds) at the buzzer.

The lead remained at 18 going into the final period coutesy of another buzzer-beater, this one by Deandre Daniels on a second attempt.

Josh Thomas scored 13 points and added six rebounds for the Wildcats. Daniels scored four points, had four rebounds and had two blocks to form a towering defensive tandem with Stover in the middle.

“Defense is really all that me and Deandre like to do,” said Stover, who also pulled down seven boards. “You can expect to see those amounts of blocks every game.”

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