Boys’ basketball finishes second in Burlingame Lions Club Tournament


Mattingly Germack

In front of a packed student section, senior forward Carson Robenalt puts up a jumper in the team’s game against Los Altos High School.

Mattingly Germack, Copy Editor

The boys’ varsity basketball team finished in second place in the 44th annual Burlingame Lions Club Tournament. They did not come away with the ending that they wanted, dropping the championship game on Friday, Dec. 10 to Los Altos High School by a score of 52-40.

The loss came after two hard-fought victories over Aragon High School by a score of 64-58 and Stuart Hall High School 52-45.

The Panthers could not get going offensively against Los Altos. They looked out of sync, struggling to create open shots. When they did create them, they couldn’t consistently convert them; they shot just 26.6% from the field. Seniors Carson Robenalt and Jacob Yamagishi led the team with 10 and nine points, respectively.


Their win over Aragon was a battle of the backcourt; both team’s guards had outstanding performances. Burlingame senior co-captain Sean Richardson scored 25 points with six assists and just one turnover, while senior co-captain Lou Martineau tacked on 16 points of his own. Aragon senior Lucas Yoo countered with 22 points, including a perfect 6 of 6 from three in the first half. The Dons’ junior Logan Wall showed out as well, scoring 22 points on top of 15 rebounds.


Both teams started off slow, each putting up just two points in the first 5 minutes of play. Aragon jumped out to an 8-2 lead after 6 minutes, but Burlingame clawed their way back to a 17-16 lead by the end of the first quarter. 


Aragon capitalized on their opportunities in the second quarter. Yoo caught fire, making three 3-pointers in a span of four offensive possessions. Meanwhile, Burlingame lost a key rotational piece, as junior Kyle Haslam went down with a knee injury that sidelined him for the rest of the Aragon game and the Stuart Hall game the next day. Burlingame went into the half down 36-28.


Burlingame found themselves in the second half. They opened with a 3-pointer from Martineau, much to the pleasure of the student section, who let out a loud “Louuuuuuuu!” 


Burlingame followed that up with a three from Richardson and another from senior center Tyler Mausehund to take the lead, 37-36. Both teams struggled from long range for the rest of the quarter — at one point, they combined for six consecutive missed 3-pointers. At the end of the third, Burlingame led 48-45. 


Aragon kept it close in the fourth quarter, down by only four points with just 2 minutes remaining. That’s when Richardson took things into his own hands: driving to the basket, he wove through three defenders, sunk the layup and drew the foul. He couldn’t convert on the and-one, and it remained a two-score game at 62-56, but the Dons looked defeated. Up four with 7 seconds left, Richardson was fouled again, this time sinking both free throws and sealing the victory for the Panthers.


Burlingame suffered a crucial blow against Stuart Hall the following day, as minutes into the game, Richardson was fouled on a 3-point attempt and rolled his ankle falling to the ground. Head coach Jeff Dowd revealed the next day that Richardson tore ligaments in it; the star point guard missed the rest of the tournament and will be out for at least the next six weeks. 


Richardson’s injury pushed junior Zaden Martin into the starting lineup, an opportunity that he seized. He racked up 13 points, five rebounds and two steals.


“Our mindset is next man up, all the time,” Martin said.


In a physical game that saw a combined 30 fouls, both teams were streaky. After a first quarter that was uneventful outside of Richardson’s injury, the game was tied at 11-11. Burlingame opened the second quarter with a 12-0 run that included multiple beautiful assists by Martineau and an impressive drive to the rim by Yamagishi that forced Stuart Hall to take a timeout. Stuart Hall then responded with an 8-0 run of their own to end the quarter. The half closed with Burlingame up 23-19.


The second half was as gritty as the first. Both teams had words for each other, and senior forward Will Uhrich held out his hand at his waist after an impressive layup over a Stuart Hall defender, signaling he was too short to guard him. Uhrich dropped four points — alongside Robenalt’s seven and Martin’s five — to give the Panthers a 41-29 lead heading into the final quarter of play.


Stuart Hall kept it close, as the score sat at 48-43 for Burlingame with minutes remaining. Martin was fouled, and with Burlingame in a bonus, went to the line to shoot free throws. Martin missed his first attempt, and Uhrich — a University of Arizona commit for football — went up like a wide receiver over his defender, secured the rebound, drew a foul and sank both free throws to solidify Burlingame’s victory.


The Stuart Hall victory also saw senior forward Abe Haba play his first meaningful minutes of the season. Haba is a student section favorite; “We want Abe” chants were commonplace throughout the tournament, and their wish was granted in the fourth quarter of the Stuart Hall game.


“It was a lot of fun… but there’s still a lot of work I need to do,” Haba said.


Haba also received playing time in the second quarter of their loss to Los Altos. A shorthanded Panthers team got off to a less than ideal start, as Los Altos went on a 13-0 run for most of the first quarter. Burlingame couldn’t match their offensive firepower, scoring just seven points in the first 13 minutes of play. 


Burlingame got some momentum going midway through the second quarter; Martineau connected on a 3-pointer and Uhrich scored a crucial layup, driving through defenders like he drove through tacklers in the fall football season. Burlingame trailed 20-12 with 4 minutes left in the second quarter, but Los Altos found their rhythm on offense once again, scoring 10 points to make the score 30-14 at the half. 


Burlingame kept it competitive in the third quarter, as both teams scored 12 points to make it 42-26 entering the fourth. The lead was too large to overcome, however; both teams pulled their starters early in the quarter and Burlingame lost 52-40, ending in second place.


“We have a long season ahead of us,” Haba said. “Just gotta get back to work at practice and keep moving forward.”