Boys’ varsity basketball blocks out noise, improves to 2-0 in league


Danny Conway

Senior guard Zaden Martin defends the perimeter in boys’ varsity basketball’s league game at home on Friday, Jan. 13.

Danny Conway, Staff Reporter

In a satisfying end to the first “quad” night — where all four of Burlingame’s varsity and junior varsity basketball teams play at home — in three years, boys’ varsity basketball (11-2 overall) improved to 2-0 in the PAL South with a 53-27 win over Mills High School.  

It was probably the most tense atmosphere that Burlingame has played in front of this season, with large showings from both schools’ fans. The raucous crowd seemed to fluster the Panthers in the first half, as they struggled to find their rhythm offensively. 

“Our kids were almost too amped,” said boys’ varsity head coach Jeff Dowd. “That’s one of the reasons we didn’t shoot well.”

Although the fast-paced first half ended 20-14, Burlingame started the second half on a 24-10 run to build a comfortable 42-24 lead with four minutes remaining in the game. 

Senior guard Zaden Martin led the charge, scoring 19 points with 10 rebounds and three assists on the night. Martin played 29 minutes on the floor, the most of any player on either team.

“Once you get in the game it’s more mental,” Martin said. “You just gotta tell yourself you aren’t tired and focus[ing] on the game is the most important thing”

Sophomore forward Jeremiah Phillips provided an additional jolt of energy on a night where the Panthers’ shots weren’t consistently falling. He scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds, both season highs, during his 27 minutes of action. 

Phillips’ standout performance was much needed after an uncharacteristically quiet night from senior center Kyle Haslam, who was scoreless for the first time this season. 

Haslam wasn’t the only key player having an off night, and Burlingame struggled behind the three-point line, shooting only 21%. But the Panthers ultimately stayed true to their game plan and deftly executed their defensive schemes throughout the night.

“The message I’m trying to preach to these guys is we didn’t play very well, but we were still able to beat them by 20.” Dowd said “I just expect us to shoot better, and establish more inside game which I know we will have.”

The boys’ varsity team will look to stay undefeated in league on the road at Capuchino High School on Wednesday, Jan. 18.