On the heels of a loss to Capuchino last week, the Burlingame boys basketball team was in desperate need of a big game from one of their stars. Vinny Ferrari delivered for the Panthers on Wednesday night, scoring 32 points in host Burlingame’s 66-46 win over the visiting Sequoia Cherokees.
Sequoia scored the first five points of the game before Burlingame got into a rhythm. With the game tied 8-8 late in the first quarter, Ferrari made a layup, then got a steal and drove to the basket again and scored to give Burlingame a four-point lead. But the Panthers’ sharpshooting point guard was just getting started. His first three-pointer of the night opened the scoring in the second quarter, and he scored 13 total points in the period, capped by his third three-pointer in the closing seconds of the half to give Burlingame a 27-22 lead.
“I feel like my three-point shot has improved a lot, and that’s opened up the court more,” Ferrari said. “It’s really opened up everything lately.”
After Ferrari alone carried the Panthers in the first half, Burlingame’s role players stepped up in the second half and the Panthers opened up their lead. Callum Spurlock hit a three-pointer in the closing seconds of the third quarter to cap a 10-0 Burlingame run and extend the lead to 49-33. The Panthers outscored the Cherokees 22-11 in the period, and made it a 14-0 run on two layups by Ferrari to begin the fourth. Burlingame’s defense was outstanding as well, especially inside the paint, as the Panthers neutralized Sequoia’s two centers, Gabriel Bertero and Ziggy Lauese.
“We switched players more (in the second half), and went to a 1-3-1 zone, and that seemed to help us,” Burlingame coach Pete Harames said.
Burlingame’s inside dominance was especially remarkable considering that center Bassel Mufarreh was in foul trouble for much of the night and saw limited minutes. Alex Waldsmith took his place and filled in extremely well.
“Waldsmith took Bassel’s place and I thought was the key,” Harames said.
Sequoia hung with Burlingame for a half but in the end could not match its speed, defensive prowess, and Ferrari’s shooting. Lauese, the Cherokees’ leading scorer and rebounder, was held out the first half due to illness and was ineffective upon returning in the second half.
Burlingame improved to 15-6 overall and 7-2 in league with the win and remained in second place, two games behind unbeaten Menlo-Atherton. Wednesday’s win helped separate the Panthers from the pack of teams below them in the standings.
“Sequoia was supposed to be one of the contending favorites, so this was a big win,” Harames said.
Burlingame next plays at Mills this Friday at 7:45. Mills brought lots of students to their game at BHS, so be sure to go to Mills on Friday to support the Panthers.
This article was initially published for prep2prep.com.