SAN BRUNO -- The Burlingame boys basketball team got off to a tough start this season. A brutal nonleague schedule that included five games against West Catholic Athletic League teams was the major factor. And so was the adjustment to a new coach.

But now the Panthers are coming together, seemingly getting better each time out.

Burlingame led from start to finish in a 68-54 victory over Mills in a Peninsula Athletic League South Division game played at Capuchino High on Friday. Burlingame (10-7, 4-0) went into the game tied with Mills and Carlmont for first place in the PAL South.

Tyler Parratte got the Panthers off to a flying start, making his first four shots -- three from 3-point range -- and scoring all of Burlingame's points in an 11-2 spurt to start the game. Parratte finished with a career-high 21 points.

"I was feeling it," Parratte said. "I had a good pregame. The ball was coming out of my hand nice and easy."

Burlingame led 33-23 at halftime. Mills (10-6, 3-1) never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.

"We never got a run going," Mills coach Rick Hanson said. "We didn't defend as well as we could've. Burlingame hit big shots when they needed to."

Connor Haupt, Burlingame's top scorer on the season at 17.1 points per game entering play Friday, scored 13 of his 19 in the second half.

"We've had more games and practices under our belt now," Haupt said. "We're coming into sync with each other. All those tough games, all those tough losses are all for the better."

Burlingame went 1-4 against WCAL teams in nonleague play. The Panthers also had games against St. Mary's-Berkeley, Righetti-Santa Maria, Skyline-Oakland, Branson and Leland. They won three of those five.

The team had the additional adjustment of getting used to a new coach. Jeff Dowd, who had led the program to a position of dominance in the PAL over the last decade, was fired in the offseason. Pete Harames, who coached Capuchino to a state championship game in 1995, took over as coach.

"I'm getting used to them, and they're getting used to me," Harames said.

Nick Loew, Burlingame's 6-foot-7 center, had 13 points and 17 rebounds.

"Tonight was our night," Harames said. "That tough schedule is benefitting us now. The pressure those WCAL teams play, we're used to it now."

Joseph Worku led Mills with 18 points. Matt Wong had 13, and Jeremy Gibbs added 12.