A highly competitive Pacific League will test the Burroughs and Burbank High girls’ basketball teams this season, but the goal remains the same for both teams: a spot in the CIF Southern Section playoffs. With hopes for a league title also in sight, here’s a look at what’s to come for the teams this season.
Last season’s Pacific League runner-up Bears kicked off the regular season this week by competing in the King Kekaulike High Tournament in Maui, Hawaii. Guided by veteran head coach Vicky Oganyan, Burroughs aims to be competitive in the Pacific League and secure a return to the CIF Southern Section playoffs after suffering an early exit in last season’s Division II-AA opener.
“Our goals are to continue getting better, both individually and collectively, as a team and be peaking in January,” Oganyan said. “We want to be a tough defensive team and super competitive. Preparation for this has been an ongoing process since the spring. Learning from our mistakes and building confidence off of our successes will be key.”
With a youthful roster consisting of two seniors, two juniors, six sophomores and three freshmen, seniors Ashley Martin and Mia Paz are expected to play crucial roles in guiding the underclassmen and maintaining focus during pivotal games.
“The two seniors will be key in leading the way with their calmness and leadership when it gets tough out there,” Oganyan said. “They will also be key in helping continue teaching the values that make up our culture.”
Junior returner Mariam Fahs, the team’s third-leading scorer with 4.9 points per game last season, is expected to deliver high production, especially in what Oganyan foresees as challenging competition in league play.
“I think every game in league is going to be a tough game,” Oganyan said. “Everyone in league is looking much-improved, and the coaches in our league do a good job preparing their teams, so every game will be a battle.”
The Bears will next compete in the Redondo Union Tournament beginning on Nov. 22 before hosting Glendale in its league opener on Dec. 5.
The Bulldogs, who finished last season third in the Pacific League with a 9-5 record (15-13 overall), seek to earn another postseason appearance. Burbank head coach Kristopher Jabourian did not respond to the Burbank Leader’s questionnaire before its press deadline.
The Bulldogs opened the regular season by competing in the Upland High Tournament on Nov. 13 and 14, posting a 56-19 victory over Santa Clara High of Oxnard while suffering a 74-53 loss against Grossmont High of El Cajon. A full tournament roundup will be included in next week’s issue.
First published in the November 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.