GLENDALE — The Hoover High and Burroughs boys' basketball teams entered Tuesday's Pacific League opener after enjoying success during tournament play.
While the Tornadoes notched consolation championship victories in the Whittier Tournament and the Providence Paul Sutton Tip-Off Classic, the Indians had a championship effort in the Pasadena Poly tournament.
The teams were hoping that success would translate into fine showings in league competition this season.
Burroughs has to be feeling better about its chances in the Pacific League after earning a 74-51 victory on Hoover's home floor.
However, it wasn't an easy task for the Indians (9-4), who enjoyed only a three-point lead after three quarters. But Burroughs was able to turn it on in the fourth to turn back the Tornadoes.
"They came in what, 9-3?," Burroughs Coach Adam Hochberg said about the Tornadoes (9-4). "They have been playing well and they had some good wins coming into league. They are a good team and we knew things weren't going to be easy against them."
The Burroughs fourth-quarter push was facilitated by the play of senior transfers Amaad Wainright and Rashid Ewing.
Wainright, who provided matchup problems for Hoover, tallied 11 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth. He also collected 12 rebounds. After sitting out much of the third quarter because of foul trouble, the 6-foot-4 Ewing tallied all of his 12 points in the final stanza.
"[Wainright] is a good player and we had problems with him," Hoover Coach Jack Van Patten said. "We didn't do what we wanted to do against him and that hurt us. We should have done a better job against him."
After returning from their holiday breaks to take part in their first league contest, both teams came out and struggled with their shooting from the floor in the opening quarter. Coincidently, the Indians and Tornadoes were both four of 15 from the floor in the first. The only difference was one of Burroughs' shots was a three-pointer, as the Indians led, 9-8, after the first stanza.
"We did start slow, but I was really happy with the mental energy that we showed from the start," Hochberg said. "The shots are going to go in or they're not going to go in, but the mental energy is the key for us, and I thought that we had that today.
"At one point we figured the floodgates were going to open up, our shots would start to fall and we would be all right."
Despite the efforts of Hoover senior Tao Davidian (20 points, nine rebounds), the Indians finally started hitting their shots in the second quarter, helping them begin the frame on a 14-1 run. After Angel Cano converted a three-point play with just over four minutes left, Burroughs enjoyed a 14-point advantage, 23-9.
But Hoover was able to get the lead down to single digits, 27-19, with 50 seconds left on a bucket by Alex Chrishyan. The Tornadoes went into the break down by nine, 28-19.
The third quarter saw a Hoover surge, as it outscored Burroughs, 21-15. The Tornadoes whittled the lead down to one, 33-32, on a layup by Chris Sarkisian (10 points) with 5:05 left. But Hoover couldn't get any closer than one, as it went into the final quarter trailing, 43-40.
"We played well in spurts, but we didn't play well the entire game," Van Patten said. "We just have to be more consistent. We have to keep up our momentum for the whole game. We came on in that third, but we just couldn't put the hammer down."
Burroughs came out and dominated the fourth, beginning the stanza with a 15-3 run, which included two big three-pointers by Chris Hovasapian (16 points) and Steven Sanchez.
"This was the start of league and I told our guys that we have to come out and play tough against everybody in league," Wainright said. "We have to bring it every game."