Eagles working toward having last run
AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank.
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The all-for-one and one-for-all approach worked for the Three Muskateers, and it continues to be the foundation for Burbank’s success.
“We don’t focus on one play or one player,” Burbank junior point guard Moses Betancourt said. “We’re all in this together.”
The Bulldogs (17-4, 4-0) defeated rival Brackenridge (7-10, 1-4) 58-41 Jan. 3 at Alamo Convocation Center to retain second place in District 28-5A. Lanier (12-11, 5-0) led the district ahead of their Jan. 16 showdown at the ACC.
“We’re staying confident, but we’re not getting big heads,” Burbank coach Herbert Jackson said. “I think it’s a gift to be in this position. We’ve still got four games to go in the first round, and anybody can beat anybody.”
Young Brackenridge has been a hard-luck team in the early stages of the district season. The Eagles have absorbed overtime losses to Edison and Lanier.
They were within 22-19 late in the first half against Burbank and trailed 28-23 when charged with a technical foul.
“We’re a very young team with a lot of new players,” Brackenridge coach Joey Isaac said. “We’re in every game. I don’t think there’s been one game where we weren’t right there at halftime. We’ve still got a lot of games to learn what we need to do to get a win at the end.”
The veteran Bulldogs capitalized when the technical, assessed because of a clerical error, opened the door for them to extend the lead. Brackenridge had survived Burbank’s first two runs.
The Bulldogs seized an 8-2 lead midway through the first quarter when Matthew Juarez (12 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals) notched a layup off an assist from Michael Mascorro.
“That’s my glue,” Jackson said of Juarez. “He’s doing a lot of little things most people don’t pay attention to.”
A three-point basket from Everett Patino brought the Eagles within two, but Burbank scored the next seven points.
Brackenridge’s Jonathan King (7 points, 3 steals) closed the gap to 22-19 with 1:06 until halftime, but Burbank’s Juan Castillo (11 points) answered with a driving layup. A pull-up jumper by Betancourt (14 points, 3 assists, 2 steals) gave the Bulldogs a 28-21 cushion, but Patino made a steall and hit a short shot ahead of the technical.
Betancourt made two of the four resulting free throws and Mascorro (5 rebounds, 3 assists) cashed in a steal for a 32-23 Burbank lead with 3:27 remaining in the third quarter. A driving bank shot from Alejandro Monjarrez gave the Bulldogs a 12-point edge as the quarter ended.
Brackenridge junior Richard Wallace (16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocked shots) scored five points in the final quarter, including a three-point play that reduced the Eagles’ deficit to 11 points. Brack’s 6-foot-5 Jalen Davis finished with seven rebounds.
“I don’t know if there’s been a game where we were behind by more than a few points at the end of the first half,” Isaac said. “Basketball’s a game of runs and, in our district, it’s about who has the last one. Right now, we haven’t had the last one, but we’ve been close.”
Moses Montalvo helped Burbank keep Brackenridge at bay with a pair of five-point spurts in the last two quarters. It was just his second game back after missing five games with a high-ankle sprain.
“It was a joy and a relief,” Jackson said. “I still don’t believe he’s 100 percent.”