By Nathan Cambridge
There is a truism in basketball: If you don’t put the ball through the hoop, you will struggle to win games. This was clearly demonstrated when Burbank hosted Burroughs in a girls’ basketball clash of intracity rivals.
Burroughs used a suffocating defense against the host Bulldogs that produced a 53-25 victory Thursday evening in the Pacific League finale for both schools.
“We made a switch [on defense] two weeks into the season when we needed to pick up the momentum and play a little faster,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “So we switched to more of a pressure defense instead of just the zone. It’s helped us in the games, not just stopping the other team, but creating opportunities offensively.”
Burroughs’ defense was relentless against the Bulldogs, with the Bears consistently hounding and trapping the ball handler all over the court, getting their hands in passing lanes and denying the hosts clean shots at the hoop.
“We came in with a plan. We knew how to guard them,” Burroughs’ Kayla Wrobel said. “My coach watches lots of film and she really prepared us for this game and we played good [defense].”
Burroughs (10-7 overall record, 6-1 in the Pacific League) limited Burbank to a scant five field goals. The Bulldogs had a single field goal in both the first and second quarters, none in the third quarter and three in the final stanza as the teams played out a game that had long since been decided.
Burroughs has now beaten Burbank eight straight games dating back to 2017, as well as eight straight on the Bulldogs’ home floor dating back to 2013.
The Bears were paced in scoring by an aggressive Wrobel with a game-high 19 points. The senior had 10 at halftime and then poured in nine points in the third quarter before sitting the majority of the fourth with the game well in hand. Wrobel also pulled down eight rebounds.
“We came to play,” Wrobel said. “We always want to play Burbank. The [results can be] unexpected no matter how we are doing previously, but we came out and wanted to play and win.”
Dyani Del Castillo was the other Bear in double digits with 13 points, along with five rebounds and four steals. Senior Faith Boulanger filled up the stat sheet with five points, eight rebounds, a whopping eight steals and five assists. Isabella Roderick also scored five points and had eight rebounds, with the sophomore also dealing out three assists.
Senior Sydney Martin scored four points for the visitors while Rachel Little, Ivana Razov and Noor Fahs each scored two and Lauren Lucas had one.
Burbank (5-7 overall, 1-6 league) saw Emily Megerdichian score seven points. She shared the team-high total with Erika Montoya, who also had seven, including being the only Bulldog to make multiple field goals.
Kimberly Pimental chipped in five points, reserve Alle Tarvirdi had four points and Nikaela Damasen scored two.
In the opening quarter Burroughs, ranked No. 11 in CIF-Southern Section Division IIAA, took a 6-0 lead before Megerdichian scored the next five. The Bears then scored the final 10 points of the quarter for a 16-5 advantage, setting the tone for the reminder of the contest.
“We always move on with more confidence [after a win] because they are our rival and it gives us an energy boost for the playoffs,” Wrobel said.