BHS Basketball pulls away from San Mateo

It wasn’t easy.  It rarely is with this year’s boys’ basketball team.  But the Panthers keep finding ways to win.

Senior Vinny Ferrari scored 15 points, sophomore Callum Spurlock scored 14, and Burlingame turned what had been a close game throughout into a 68-47 victory over San Mateo on the road. The Panthers outscored the Bearcats 23-4 in the fourth quarter.

On Friday, they had to do it with two of their stars, Tyler Garlitos and Bassel Mufarreh, dealing with illnesses.  Garlitos did not suit up until halftime, but came on in the second half to score nine points.  Mufarreh got off to a slow start but heated up in the fourth quarter to score 11.

At the beginning of the game, it appeared that San Mateo might just run the Panthers out of the building and break Burlingame’s 26-game winning streak against the Bearcats that dates back to 2001.  They scored the first six points of the game and led by three after one quarter, and Burlingame fans were reminded of their team’s performance in a loss to Hillsdale earlier in the month.

With the stars not carrying the team like they usually do, Spurlock stepped up and for a time was the sole reason the Panthers were in the game.  The sophomore scored 11 of his 14 points in the first half, including three three-pointers.  The team’s role players stepped up in a second quarter that saw Burlingame take a 28-26 lead into halftime.

The Panthers could not put the Bearcats away in a back-and-forth third quarter, and entering the final period Burlingame’s lead was still just two, at 45-43.  But in the fourth, it became clear that the Panthers were both the bigger and better team.  Garlitos and Mufarreh, who are both 6'5", began attacking the basket, and when their shots weren’t falling, they would usually draw a foul and go to the free throw line.  Ferrari got his game going and hit a couple of three-pointers.  After hanging with Burlingame for three quarters, San Mateo finally looked overmatched.  The Panthers dominated the final eight minutes to put the game away.

Despite being a rivalry game, this game had more of a toned-down atmosphere.  San Mateo did not bring its band, even though it was a home quad game, and the student turnout from both schools was low.  The Bearcat fans only began coordinated chants directed at the Panther fans (“We can’t hear you” and the like) once it became clear that Burlingame was going to win.  San Mateo’s loudest cheer of the night came when Burlingame missed a dunk with about a minute remaining and the outcome of the game no longer in doubt.

The win was Burlingame’s third straight, and the Panthers improved to 13-4 overall and 5-1 in Peninsula Athletic League South play.  The Panthers remained in second place in their division, one game behind Menlo-Atherton.  They play on the road twice this week, at Carlmont on Wednesday and at Capuchino on Friday.  Their next home game is Wednesday, Feb. 3 against Sequoia at 5:30 p.m.

Posted on January 27, 2016 .