It was a huge 22-9 fourth-quarter run by the Bulldogs, coupled with shooting woes from the Jackrabbits, that allowed Burbank to make the fourth-quarter push.
“We all had a heart-to-heart talk at halftime,” said Burbank Coach Jose Hernandez, who picked up his 100th career win Wednesday in a playoff win against Glendora. “I told them that they had 16 minutes left. I told them they had 16 minutes for the rest of their lives. They really responded and came out and played a lot better in the second half than they did in the first.”
The win catapults the Bulldogs into the quarterfinals. They will take on host Canyon Country Canyon at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The No. 14-ranked Cowboys upset No. 3 Anaheim Canyon, 77-71, Friday in a second-round game.
Burbank (22-7), the runner-up in the Pacific League, held just a two-point advantage, 40-38, after three quarters. However, the team came out energized in the final quarter to take control of the game.
In the fourth, Victor Valley (24-3) converted just three of its 20 shots from the field and made just three of 11 free-throw attempts.
The Bulldogs received big contributions around the basket from juniors Adam Colman and Chris White. Colman had 11 points, nine rebounds and two steals and White, who missed 12 league games, had nine points and three blocks.
“With Chris back, he really makes a difference when he’s in there,” Hernandez said. “Along with Adam, they give us a definite presence on the court.”
The Bulldogs were led on offense by senior Argin Gerigorian, who had 15 points to go along with 11 rebounds.
A big factor for Burbank late in the game was its free-throw shooting in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs converted 12 of their 14 attempts from the charity stripe.
“The way these guys battled back in the second half proves the kind of character that they have,” Hernandez said. “They came out after not playing all that well in the first quarter and got the job done.”
The teams took turns sharing the lead during the first half. Burbank had a 13-11 advantage after one quarter and Victor Valley led, 25-22, at the half.