B.J. Burries ends prep hoops career as state’s top scorer


B.J. Burries tried to squeeze out a couple more wins, but his history-making high school basketball career ended Saturday in the 2A state quarterfinals.  Worse yet, it ended with the Globe High School guard sitting on the bench.

Five weeks ago, Burries became just the third high school player in the history of boys’ basketball in Arizona to score 3,000 points when he lit up the scoreboard with 39 points in a win against San Carlos HS.  Ten days later he drained 41 points against St. Augustine HS to become Arizona’s all-time prep career scoring leader.

That Jan. 18 game brought his total point tally to 3,170, breaking the nearly decade-old record of 3,154 points set by Corey Hawkins during his prep career at Estrella Foothills High School in Goodyear that ended in 2010.

His final game, against Pima High School, added the last 20 points to bring his career total to 3,387, making it all the more difficult for his record to be eclipsed.

His shooting skills helped his Globe team, which entered the state tourney seeded No. 3, run up a 26-3 season record.  But it wasn’t enough to bring home a state title.

Burries was averaging almost 40 points a game going into the quarterfinal match-up with No. 11 seed Pima, and was on a run of 15 straight games of 30 or more points.  But Pima held the 5’11” guard to 20 points, which tied Burries’ season low.

Worse yet, Burries had to watch the final minutes of the game from the bench, unable to help his teammates create any kind of scoring surge to spark a rally down the stretch.  He fouled out with 2:33 left on the clock.

The gym at Yavapai College in Prescott was filled early and many of those who came to watch the final game of Arizona’s new record-holder were lucky just to get a spot to stand.  They were eagerly anticipating a scoring effort similar to the previous two games when Burries was so impressive in piling up more than 50 points in each outing.

But Pima (17-11) applied dogged man-to-man pressure on the senior (that job filled by junior Alec Judd), often doubling on him, and did a great job of working to deny him the ball and minimize his opportunities to score.  Burries finished the night hitting 38 percent of his 18 attempts from the field, and picking up just six points from behind the arc (2-for-11).  For a team that relies heavily on 3-point shooting to average 84 points a game, that was a nail in the coffin.

Those 84 points are what it would have taken to move on to the semifinals, but the Tigers were well off that season average, falling to Pima, 83-65.

Pima now moves on to play second-seeded Alchesay HS in Friday’s semifinals.