The Burroughs and Burbank boys’ basketball teams begin the 2023-24 season with new head coaches at the helm. Despite the changes in leadership, the goal stays the same for the Bulldogs and the Bears: the pursuit of league and CIF titles. Here’s a look at both teams for the upcoming season.
The Bulldogs hit the court this week with the goal of bettering last season’s fifth-place finish in the Pacific League, sharing the spot with Glendale with a 5-9 record (9-16 overall) and falling short of the CIF playoffs for a second consecutive year.
“In my over 40 years of coaching, this is the youngest team I’ve ever had,” Burbank head coach Steven Eshleman said. “Our goal is simply to get better every day.”
Burbank faces a challenging scenario with only one returning starter, junior Kevin Debashian, and a roster that includes two seniors, Beckett Sandis and Eric Terabramians.
“With only two seniors on our roster we will have to grow into our roles with such a young inexperienced team,” Eshleman said.
Key contributions are anticipated a group of juniors featuring Arthur Ambaryan, Rami Khozahi, Areg Aslanyan, Aren Malekian and Kamran Alborzian, with additional support expected from underclassmen Anthony Jawiche, Christopher Ong, Blake Finnigan, Jon Ong and Isaiah Kim.
Burbank opened the regular season this week by competing in the Bravo Tournament, suffering a pair of losses against Hamilton High of Los Angeles, 70-67, and Bravo High of Los Angeles, 54-40, while posting a 77-68 overtime victory against Marshall High of Los Angeles. A full tournament roundup will be included in the next issue of the Burbank Leader.
The Bulldogs (1-2 overall) will compete in the San Gabriel Tournament next week, starting with a matchup against Buckley High of Sherman Oaks on Nov. 20, with tip-off expected for 12:40 p.m.
Under new leadership this season, the Bears welcome first-year head coach Austin Pope to the helm.
Last season proved challenging for Burroughs, which finished seventh in the Pacific League with a 4-10 record (10-18 overall). Pope and the varsity squad have set their sights on climbing the league standings and securing a return to the postseason. The Burroughs coaching staff did not respond to the Burbank Leader’s questionnaire before its press deadline.
The Bears collected a 75-59 victory over visiting Arleta in its season opener on Nov. 13, as junior Jagger Topp made seven three-point shot attempts to finish with a team-high 23 points and added seven rebounds and four assists.
Junior Landon Everhart scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, senior Chase Kardosh recorded 16 points, six rebounds and two assists, and junior Jacob Samontina finished with 10 points, seven assists and five boards. Sophomore Giordan Lewis tallied five rebounds, three points and three assists, while senior Arthur Gabrieylan chipped in four steals, two points, two boards and two assists. Freshman Owen Everhart contributed three rebounds and two points, senior Francesco Sabato grabbed three rebounds and two steals, and junior Elijah Orjuela had one assist.
Burroughs (1-0 overall) will visit University High in Los Angeles for a nonleague game on Nov. 18 scheduled for noon, before hosting Mesrobian High of Pico Rivera on Nov. 20.
First published in the November 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.