BURBANK HIGH — The Bellarmine-Jefferson High boys' basketball team was already missing some key players when it faced Canyon Country Canyon on Tuesday in a first-round, pool-play game of the Burbank Tournament.
A group of the team's seniors were away at a religious retreat, as just two of five starters remained. To make matter worse, two of the Guards' junior players were not able to play because of illness.
That left the Guards with essentially a junior varsity team that included just two varsity players. That didn't bode well against a Canyon team that won the Foothill League championship last season.
The young Guards were just no match for the Cowboys, as Bell-Jeff struggled in the first half before suffering a 64-43 loss in its season-opening game.
With so many of his players missing, Bell-Jeff Coach Julian Andrade said his squad took an underdog attitude against the Cowboys.