Having once led by as many as 15 points, the Burlingame Panthers were in danger of a major letdown on Tuesday against the Irvington Vikings in the first round of the 40th Annual Burlingame Lions Club Invitational. Irvington had cut the deficit to just four with seven minutes remaining. But then Paulie Ferrari was fouled on a three-pointer and made all three free throws, sparking a 13-1 Burlingame run to put the game away and lead the Panthers to a 67-56 victory.
Cal Spurlock made a layup to push the Panthers’ lead to nine, and two baskets by Gray Goodman widened the margin to 13. The lead became 16 following a three-point play from Gavin Coleman. Ferrari finished with 18 points to lead the Panthers, Goodman added 16 and Spurlock chipped in 15. Burlingame made 10 three-pointers on the night, including four by Ferrari and three by Spurlock.
“We were impatient. Even though we were open we should have been passing,” Burlingame coach Pete Harames said of the three-pointers. “We tend to shoot a lot, and we’re going to have to depend on that because we don’t have an inside game.”
The Panthers (2-0) started hot, with Goodman and Spurlock leading the way in the first quarter. They combined for 15 points in the opening period as Burlingame opened up a 19-11 lead. Burlingame stretched the lead to 33-18 late in the second quarter. But the Panthers were sloppy for much of the middle of the game, committing several turnovers and being called for traveling five times. The Vikings (0-3) were able to take advantage and close the gap.
“Terrible passes. We’re very concerned about turnovers and taking care of the ball,” Harames said. “I think it’s inexperience, guys getting used to the varsity level.”
Sahil Bobba was the main catalyst in Irvington’s comeback attempt, finishing with a game-high 19 points. He made a layup and a three-pointer in quick succession midway through the third quarter to pull the Vikings within 39-35. His final three of the night came in the first minute of the final period and made it a 46-42 game. But Burlingame took control from there to pull away.
The Panthers also had a big advantage on the boards, limiting Irvington’s second chances and getting several offensive rebounds themselves. It was a good thing, too, because the Vikings were consistently capitalizing off of Burlingame’s turnovers. Irvington made several mistakes as well, though, and in the end the Panthers showed they were clearly the more talented team.
On the second day of the Lions Club Invitational on Wednesday, Burlingame will play Palo Alto in the semifinals at 8 p.m.
“Hopefully we learn from [today’s game],” Harames said. “Tomorrow we’re in deep with Palo Alto.”
This article was initially submitted for prep2prep.com.