BOYS BASKETBALL: Panthers Ousted by El Cerrito

BHS uses 4th-quarter comeback to pull within 44-43 but sees tying 3-pointer miss at buzzer; seniors cap impressive career with CIF Division III second-round loss.

The Score: El Cerrito 46, Burlingame 43.

The Star: The Burlingame High defense allowed the visitors to stay within range of El Cerrito (24-7) throughout the California Interscholastic Federation Division III second-round playoff game. The visiting Panthers limited the hosts to 27.9 percent shooting from the floor, including just 2-of-11 from beyond the arc on Thursday night.

The Turning Point: El Cerrito’s free-throw shooting down the stretch. Burlingame (27-5) nearly erased a double-digit deficit with a barrage of second-half 3-pointers, including one from Franco Ferrari to pull within 44-43. But then El Cerrito’s Jabri Jenkins hit a pair of free throws to give his team a three-point lead. Burlingame’s Dean Ferrari had a decent look at a 3-pointer that would have sent the game to overtime, but his shot rimmed out just before the buzzer.

The Quote: “They do a tremendous job of slowing people down. That’s a great, championship-quality team. They know how to control a game.” -- El Cerrito coach Michael Booker, on the challenge Burlingame gave his team in the NorCal playoffs on Thursday.

What’s Next? Burlingame’s season is finished.

The Bottom Line: The Panthers fell just short of a hallmark victory. Beating El Cerrito on the road to reach the Northern California Division III semifinals would have been one of the most notable accomplishments in program history. … Unlike the Central Coast Section title game against Sacred Heart Cathedral, Burlingame’s offense delivered at the end, and the Panthers came within a near miss of going to overtime. … El Cerrito’s length and shot-blocking ability bothered the Panthers, but Burlingame still managed to get the hosts to play at the slower tempo it preferred for long stretches. … Although turnovers and poor shooting on both sides made for some overall sloppiness, the teams excelled at the free-throw line. Burlingame went 16-for-20 and El Cerrito 20-for-26. … The Panthers’ senior class will go down as perhaps the most decorated in school history. Rodrigo Puliceno, who had seven points and a game-high 14 rebounds on Thursday, has been a part of four straight Peninsula Athletic League tournament championship teams. Burlingame has been the runner-up in the CCS Division III playoffs the last three years – falling just short of the program’s first section title. On Tuesday, the Panthers secured their first NorCal playoff victory in that span.


Correspondent Jordan Conn contributed to this report.


El Cerrito 46, Burlingame 43

B -- 12 4 8 19 -- 43

EC – 8 10 13 15 -- 46

B: Bailey 2-6 5-6 9, F. Ferrari 1-3 0-0 3, Haupt 1-2 2-2 5, Grotz 1-5 5-6 8, D. Ferrari 2-11 0-0 6, Puliceno 2-8 3-4 7, Shaffer 2-4 1-2 5. Totals 11-39 16-20 43.

EC: Nelson 1-5 2-3 4, Syvanthong 1-10 4-6 7, Condor 4-12 3-3 12, Jenkins 1-7 6-8 8, Keith 2-2 0-0 2, Pippins 2-3 0-0 2, Johnson 1-4 3-4 5. Totals 12-43 20-26 46.

3-point goals: B: 5-17 (F. Ferrari 1-2, Haupt 1-2, Grotz 1-4, D. Ferrari 2-8, Puliceno 0-1). EC: 2-11 (Nelson 0-1, Syvanthong 1-3, Condor 1-3, Jenkins 0-4).

Rebounds: Burlingame 32 (Puliceno 14), El Cerrito 33 (Nelson 7).

Assists: Burlingame 7 (Bailey 3), El Cerrito 8 (Syvanthong 6).

Steals: Burlingame 6 (Bailey 3), El Cerrito 11 (Syvanthong 5).

Blocks: Burlingame 3 (Puliceno 2), El Cerrito 3 (Nelson, Keith, Johnson).

Turnovers: Burlingame 18 (Puliceno 6), El Cerrito 12 (Johnson 5).

Records: Burlingame 27-5. El Cerrito 23-7.


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