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Burbank water polo comes on in second half to down rival Burroughs

Boys' water polo: With most productive player out with injury, Bulldogs get six goals from Arthur Mheryan in 10-4 victory over Indians.

October 23, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(Raul Roa Staff Photographer )

BURBANK – With its most productive player sidelined with an injury, Burbank High's boys' water polo team wondered how it would perform without the services of top scorer Dante Nazarian.

And the Bulldogs would have to find that out against cross-town rival Burroughs.

The Bulldogs' Arthur Mheryan wanted to make sure he did his part to fill in for his injured teammate. Despite suffering through a slow start, the Bulldogs came on in the second half, receiving a match-high six goals from Mheryan to turn back the Indians, 10-4, on Wednesday in a Pacific League contest at Burbank.

"With our best player not playing, Dante, we were a little nervous coming in," said Mheryan, who tallied all six of his goals in the second half. "We knew it was going to be hard without him. But we all just had to step up our game and make up for him as much as we could."

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There wasn't much more than pride and city bragging rights on the line in Wednesday's match. Burroughs (7-10, 1-5 in league) had already been eliminated from the CIF Southern Section Division V playoff picture prior to the contest. Burbank (10-9, 3-3) ends up the regular season's fourth-place team from the league.

Despite being on the outside looking in as far as the postseason was concerned, the Indians came out and matched the Bulldogs throughout the first half.

Burroughs was able to stay close over the course of the first two quarters largely because of the play of goalkeeper Dillon Wiegand, who ended the match with 13 blocks.

"Dillon definitely did his job," Burroughs first-year Coach Michael Singhanate said. "None of the goals that went in past him were his fault. He really kept us in it in that first half.

"I was very happy with the way we played in the first half and I thought we were on our way."

Burbank goalkeeper Derek Baer also had a solid effort, stopping nine shots to record the victory.

It was a defensive struggle early on, as both squads accounted for just one goal each in the opening quarter. Burbank's Andres Pulgarin got the scoring started at the 2:42 mark and Burroughs' Aram Nordanyon knotted the score with a tally with 1:54 remaining.

Things remained tight in the second quarter, as Wiegand had four blocks. The Indians' Oscar Hernandez gave his team a 2-1 advantage with a goal at the 5:57 mark. However, Burbank answered the tally with a man-advantage goal by Robert Mheryan with 2:21 left.

The teams went into halftime tied at 2.

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