BURBANK — It's his senior year and Richard Elmoyan is going to cherish each part of it.
He's likely also going to be the leader of the Burbank High boys' basketball team.
Elmoyan started his final campaign at Burbank with a stellar opening game, scoring a game-high 22 points to lead the Bulldogs to a 52-49 victory against Hollywood on Tuesday in a pool-play game of the Burbank Holiday Tournament.
"To be honest, it's my senior year and I'm not going to have another time like this," said Elmoyan, who was the only Bulldog to score in double figures.
Elmoyan started Tuesday's game with a do-it-all first quarter, as he scored seven points, grabbed a rebound, dished out an assist, stole a pass and served as his team's starting point guard. Six of his points came on his signature move, a hard and fast drive to the basket that Hollywood could not contend.
"That's senior leadership for you right there," Burbank Coach Jerry DeLaurie said. "He wants to win. He's got a lot of passion. He's got a lot of drive. He leaves his heart on the floor. He's doing a great job."
With Elmoyan's leadership, Burbank built a comfortable lead through two-plus quarters. The Bulldogs had a 30-19 advantage that they increased to 38-21 halfway through the third quarter.
That's when Hollywood began its run.
The Sheiks, who struggled from the field in the opening half, making just eight of 30 shots, finally started to sink baskets. Hollywood made four of nine shots in the third quarter, including two of four from three-point territory, as it trimmed Burbank's lead to, 39-35, heading into the fourth quarter.
"We got complacent," said DeLaurie, whose team never trailed. "We gotta finish it."
Hollywood's rally set up a fun finish for both teams.
Hollywood had an opportunity early in the fourth quarter to tie the score, but it fumbled away chances, committing four fourth-quarter turnovers.
Burbank turned to Elmoyan on offense, just like it did in the first quarter.
Elmoyan, an All-Pacific League second-team selection a year ago, continued driving to the basket and Hollywood still couldn't stop his penetration without fouling him.
Elmoyan scored eight points in the final quarter, with six of those coming at the free-throw line.
"That's what I am really proud of him on," said DeLaurie, who also received six points from Adam Pasco and six blocks from Anthony Kardosh. "He had been struggling with his free-throw shooting, but he made them tonight."
The Bulldogs and Sheiks exchanged free throws down the stretch, with Elmoyan's one of two free throws providing the game's final points with 16 seconds to play.
Hollywood didn't call a timeout after Elmoyan's second free throw, and didn't execute a smooth play, as its guards lost control of the ball. Hollywood's Max Peranidze gathered the ball with three seconds to play near halfcourt and launched a three-pointer that hit the front of the rim, allowing the Bulldogs to start the season with a win.
The Bulldogs will play Roosevelt at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in another pool-play game.
"It's always good to start off the year with a win," Elmoyan said. "It gives other teams in league something to think about."