The CIF Southern Section will release brackets for the postseason sometime Sunday in what is the local high school version of “Selection Sunday,” however the playoffs unofficially began for the Burroughs girls’ basketball team this week facing a pair of must win games.
After three consecutive losses put the defending Pacific League champions on the verge of missing the postseason entirely the young Indians responded as champions should and put together a pair of huge wins February 7 and February 9 to extend their season at least another game.
Last night, Burroughs topped their crosstown rivals, the Burbank Bulldogs, 47-43, to claim the fourth and final playoff spot out of the Pacific League. Although the Indians finished in a tie with the Crescenta Valley Falcons, Burroughs will take the fourth spot by way of its season sweep against CV. A loss this week would have forced the Indians to petition for an at-large berth which was far from certain with an overall record of just 12-15.
Burroughs is 7-7 in league.
The Indians outscored the Bulldogs 12-4 in the opening quarter, which proved to be the difference on February 9. The two battled the final three quarters with Burbank winning each quarter by none by more than a single possession and with Burroughs never surrendering the lead.
In what was one of the best moments of the season for the Indians, senior Gabby Pineiro led all scorers with 14 points. Pineiro is one of the lone seniors and lone key pieces from last season’s Burroughs team that went 25-5 and won its first league championship in more than a quarter of a century.
The 14 points keyed the fast start for the Tribe and was a season high for Pineiro who has averaged five points and five rebounds per game on the season despite the ankle sprain that originated in early in league against Pasadena and was re-injured in the rematch with Pasadena on January 27.
“Not having Gabby 100% hurt us this year, no question, she is our leader and the example for our young team,” head coach Vicky Oganyan said before Thursday’s game. “I hope she can finish the season strong because than we will.”
Teammate Aysia Shellmire, the statistical leader on the season, added 13 points and 11 rebounds against a Burbank zone that had really given her fits the first time the two teams met on January 20. IN the first contest, a Burbank victory, Shellmire shot only 2-of-8 from the floor. She made 4-of-5 shots from the floor on Thursday and 5-of-7 from the free throw line.
“They made more free throws than we did, simple as that,” Burbank coach Bruce Breeden said after the game.
It was a physical contest from the start with a combined 61 fouls for both teams. Burroughs made 14-of -31 free throw chances.
Demarie Gonzalez led all scorers with 18 points, teammate and sister Jamie Gonzalez added nine points for Burbank who still clinched second place in the Pacific League this week with a 16-11 overall record and a 10-4 league mark.