Tag Archives: Burbank High

Burroughs, Burbank Baseball Reach For The Stars

By Rick Assad

You know that the baseball season has begun when the weather begins to heat up and the sky turns a bright blue.

For Burroughs High and city rival Burbank, the two are looking to have a solid year and to make a dent in the Pacific League standings.

The Indians have divided four games in the Easton Tournament and are 3-4 overall this season.

Pitching is king. Burroughs has a number of solid arms in its arsenal. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs opens league play at Hoover on March 28 and visit Burbank on May 9 and host the Bulldogs on May 12.

“I’m not really sure what I have this season,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “We’ve been good at times this season and we’ve been not so good.”

In 2016, the Indians had a successful campaign after tying Crescenta Valley for the top spot in league.

Burbank will rely on steady work in the infield and outfield. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs began the season by winning the prestigious Easton tourney, 1-0, over highly-ranked Harvard-Westlake behind ace Kyle Nicol, who is now playing for Cal State Northridge.

Nicol’s place will be picked up by a bevy of competent arms like seniors Riley Hooper, Matthew Rudas, junior Salvador Cabezas and sophomore Niccolo Chuidian.

Additionally, Sherwood, who has been a longtime coach, will also have on the mound senior Henrik Buchanan, senior infielder Brandon Martinez, junior Jacob Real and junior Brandon Ortega.

Fundamentals are always stressed under Burroughs Coach Craig Sherwood. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

All of these hurlers will need to be efficient in order for the Indians to repeat what took place a season ago.

If the old saying that pitching and defense wins games, the Indians, who went 19-7 and 12-2 in league, will need this to be their mantra.

“I think CV’s the favorite to win league this year,” said Sherwood, whose team fell in the CIF Southern Section opening round in 2016. “They have strong pitching and they have good tradition. Burbank is much improved and I think we’re going to be in the mix along with Pasadena and Arcadia.”

For Burbank, under Coach Bob Hart, working in the batting cage is crucial. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sherwood stresses being able to catch and throw the baseball.

“Defense is always our No. 1 priority,” he said. “If you don’t hit well, you can always rely on your defense. It’s really important to have a good defense.”

Burroughs has several key players returning and they include senior infielder Justin Palafox, who batted .434 with 16 runs batted in and 17 runs scored, and junior first baseman Nathan Palafox, his younger brother.

“In high school, you don’t rebuild because there isn’t free agency,” Sherwood pointed out. “You reload and continue the winning tradition that we’ve built here.”

The other members include senior outfielder Angel Estrada, senior infielder Erik Gonzalez, junior outfielder/catcher Steven Gonzalez, junior catcher Matthew Diaz, junior outfielder Brandon Giraldo and junior outfielder/catcher Revin Diego.

The rest are junior outfielder Daniel Leonard, junior outfielder Andrew Jacob Barrera, junior outfielder Casey Cromie and freshman infielder Ricardo Perez.

For a Burroughs runner, it’s on your mark, get set and go. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank, which finished 9-13, 8-6 in league and lost to Mayfair in a postseason wild-card game, also has designs on being in the hunt.

Whether Burbank, which went 3-2 in the Easton tourney and is 3-3 this campaign, will be in the running actually depends on members of the highly-successful football team that include seniors Danny Porras and Jake Kelley.

Both Porras and Kelley have sustained fairly serious injuries, so Coach Bob Hart can’t count on them to play in that many games.

“If we’re healthy, I think we’re capable of being right there,” said Hart of the league race which begins at Muir on March 28. “If we’re not healthy, then the other guys have an opportunity to seize the moment and step up.”

For the Bulldogs, there’s no getting around taking grounders. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Porras is a first baseman and pitcher and was also tabbed honorable mention, while the other projected starters are senior and all-league pick, Henry Leake, at third base, sophomore Davis Mieliwocki at first base, senior Johnathan Castaneda at second base, junior Maxwell Meltzer at shortstop and junior Matthew Shaugabay at catcher.

The outfield will consist of senior Chris Minnick in left field, senior Branden Phillips in center field and junior Abiezer Delgado, who will also be the designated hitter, in right field.

Seniors Chris Guerra and Owen Ruiz will see time in the outfield as will senior Javier Reyes, who can also play catcher.

The pitching staff will be paced by senior Matt Lungaro and senior Colby Vosgien.

“I think our pitching is going to be fine,” Hart said. “Colby is a left-hander and has been injured, but we’re hoping that he’s going to be able to help us.”

Others on the squad include sophomore third baseman/outfielder Matthew Porras, junior first baseman/outfielder John Ennis and junior outfielder Erik Higgins.

Burroughs, Burbank Softball Campaign Is Underway

By Rick Assad


Like its counterpart baseball, pitching is worth at least 75 percent in softball and if it’s true, then Burroughs High and Burbank are on solid footing in Presley Miraglia and Allie Benson.

How these two junior hurlers perform in the circle will dictate the Indians and Bulldogs overall success.

The Burroughs High softball team is ready for another run at the Pacific League banner. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

This is especially true when it comes down to who will be dominant in the Pacific League.

There is one change and that is the departure of Burroughs coach Doug Nicol, who was highly successful.

The new man in charge of the Indians’ program is Wes Tanigawa, and his expectations are the same as Nicol’s.

“No one ever knows what you’re stepping into,” Tanigawa said of being the head man. “There’s a lot of work. But Doug has been there for me and that’s really helped me make the transition.”

Burbank High’s softball team huddles with Coach Mike Delaney in a recent practice. The Bulldogs are also eyeing the Pacific League title. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Tanigawa said he wants to put a good product on the field.

“I’m hoping the girls are doing what they need to do in order to keep doing what they did last season. If they do, then we’ll be all right.”

So far this season, the Indians are 4-1 and begin the league campaign on March 28 at Pasadena.

Burroughs will host archrival Burbank on April 19 and visit the Bulldogs on May 11.

In 2016, the Indians went undefeated in league action at 14-0, were 21-4 overall and advanced to the CIF Southern Section semifinals.

Miraglia, who posted an earned-run average of 1.41, was in the middle of this and the right-hander will be the focal point again.

“Presley was always willing to step up to the plate and give it her all,” Tanigawa said. “She’s been in the program now for three years and she works extra hard.”

The Indians are working on their infield drills which are always critical to any success. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Tanigawa continued: “Presley is a very talented pitcher and knows that she has a lot on her shoulders.”

Miraglia is backed up by junior Mia Storer, who saw some time in the circle last season.

The Indians’ infield includes junior Amanda Flores at first base, junior Nikki Ricciardella at second base, senior Lauren Lopez at shortstop, senior Brianna Johnson at third base and the tandem of sophomore Megan Williams and junior Kaylee Vigil at catcher.

Sophomore Jessica Amaya will patrol left field, junior Hannah Talavera is the center fielder and senior Tati Caceres will play right field.

The Bulldogs are likewise also working on infield play. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The reserves will be freshman third baseman Memorie Munoz, sophomore Kaitlin Escamilla in left field, sophomore Morgan Mersola at second base, sophomore Citlali Mendez at shortstop, senior Makena Savola at first base, and freshman Chloe Bookmyer in right field.

Meanwhile, for Burbank, this season is an opportunity to redeem itself from the previous campaign in which it went 11-17 and 8-6 in league with an opening-round loss to Paramount in the playoffs.

Outfield defense is often overlooked, but Burroughs makes sure everything is in order. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Longtime Coach Mike Delaney is optimistic despite starting the campaign winless in four games.

The Bulldogs commence league action on March 28 against visiting Glendale.

“Overall, we’re better than we were last year,” he said. “The hitting is stronger, one through nine. They have a plan at the plate. This is a more mature and experienced team.”

The league race is going to be a battle. “It’s competitive as always,” Delaney said. “Burroughs is always tough to beat and Crescenta Valley seems to play well under [Coach] Amanda Peek.”

Delaney said the team gets along, and that’s going to help. “I don’t mind being the underdog,” he said. “You play freer. They’re really close-knit with good chemistry.”

Much is expected of the right-handed Benson, who went 7-7 in 2016. Benson is going to be backed up by sophomore Alex Davis and freshman Savannah Davis.

“Allie is a lot more confident this season,” said Delaney of his ace. “She has a game-plan and she worked hard in the off-season. She’s made really good progress.”

The old saying that practice makes perfect isn’t lost on the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sophomore Amaya Broyls is the primary catcher while senior Alyssa De La Torre and sophomore Nikki Davis will also see time behind the plate.

“Amaya can play all eight positions except pitcher,” Delaney noted of his young backstop.

Burbank’s infield consists of juniors Erin Lashkari and Melissa Daniel at first base, junior Macie Jensen at second base, freshman Katie Treadway at shortstop and junior Bene Snyder at third base.

“Melissa has good power and is good defensively,” Delaney said. “Macie, who batted .310, will fill in the power spots in the batting order [3-5], and I’m happy with her defense.”

Delaney added: “Katie is only a freshman and she learned a lot over the fall. She has great speed and range,” he said. “Bene understands her swing.”

The Bulldogs’ outfield will have Alex Davis in center field, junior Anysia Gonzalez in right field and sophomore Sarah Garelick in left field.

Delaney had glowing remarks about his outfield. “I’m happy with her game,” he said of Davis. “”She’s a good base runner and she’s going to have a breakout year.”

Delaney added: “There aren’t enough positive things you can say about Anysia,” he said. “She’s a really good defender and Sarah is very intelligent.”

Burbank Boys Hoop Seniors End Extraordinary Ride

By Rick Assad


It hardly seems fair that the Burbank High boys’ basketball team lost a game at the buzzer with the CIF Southern Section Division III-AA title in the balance.

This was especially heartbreaking for the starting seniors, swingman Michael Woods, point guard Cameron Sweeten, forward Faraz Khandaker, shooting guard Ben Chavez and forward Abdullah Kobaissi.

These in particular helped the Bulldogs reach the finals for the first time since 1926 before losing 55-54 to Brentwood in overtime on Friday night at Azusa Pacific University.

Senior swingman Michael Woods scored 10 points and added 10 rebounds in the CIF title game against Brentwood. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Down two points and 4.1 seconds remaining, forward Braelee Albert (27 points with 11 rebounds) hit an off-balance three-pointer with Sweeten, who pulled down seven rebounds and handed out one assist, guarding him.

Still, this playoff run was historic and will be remembered a long time.

“We’ve been playing together forever, from elementary school,” said Woods, who dropped in 10 points with a team-high 10 rebounds and one assist with four fouls. “The chemistry is there. We’ve got Coach [Jamayne] Potts and that was a blessing.”

Forward Faraz Khandaker led the way with 18 points for the Bulldogs. The senior also added eight rebounds. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Woods went on: “Me and Cameron were supposed to go to Notre Dame, but I wouldn’t change anything.”

Sweeten is the floor leader and a quiet presence.

“I don’t dwell on those type of things much,” he said of the game-winning shot made by the Eagle sophomore. “The game plan was to switch on everything. We didn’t want to give up the three.”

Sweeten scored all nine points in the fourth quarter, including the tying hoop that made it 47-47 as the Bulldogs (19 of 62 for 30.6 percent) fell behind 35-29 after three periods.

“Coach drew up a play and I executed it,” said Sweeten of the tying bucket at the end of the fourth quarter.

Both teams struggled to find the hoop in the extra period with Burbank making two of six and the Eagles hitting three of nine.

Senior point guard Cameron Sweeten scored all nine points in the fourth quarter, including the game-tying basket. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Khandaker made seven of 15 from the floor and two of seven from three-point range.

Khandaker scored a team-best 18 points, including four points in overtime.

“I know our team, and even if it’s down 20 points or 30 points, we’re going to continue and keep on fighting,” said Khandaker, who led the way with nine points in the first half and ended the night with eight boards and two assists.

Woods said stopping Brentwood’s offense was a major priority. “We really pride ourselves on defense,” he said. “We want to play aggressively and our goal was to help each other out.”

Potts was of course disappointed in the outcome. “I’m extremely proud of my guys,” he said. “We were undersized, but we came back. I can’t say enough about the seniors. I’m really proud of this senior group.”

Brentwood made nine of 29 for 31 percent in the first half and ended the game making 34.4 percent (22 of 64).

Chavez dropped in six points with five rebounds and one assist, senior forward Thomas Clark tossed in four points with six rebounds and fouled out, Kobaissi had five points with five boards and senior guard Henrik Anassian scored two points with two assists.

Burroughs Girls Soccer Ties Rival Burbank, 2-2

By Rick Assad


For the majority of the opening half of Thursday afternoon’s Pacific League girls’ soccer match between Burbank High and host Burroughs, it was dominated by the Bulldogs.

The second half was a different matter and especially during injury time when junior forward Tatiana Mosdale evened it at 2-2 on a goal from 20 yards against senior goalie Isabella Palau.

“We always need to play our hardest,” Mosdale said of the rivalry between the two schools. “We were all a little nervous. I was very excited. A tie is better than a loss.”

The first time these rivals met, the Bulldogs prevailed 2-1 and had not Mosdale kicked in the tying goal in the regular-season finale, it would have been another setback for the Indians.

Burroughs junior forward Tatiana Mosdale had the match-tying goal against visiting Burbank. (Photo courtesy Janet Berlin)

Up to that point, Burbank, which finished fourth in league, held a one-goal lead on the strength of two first-half tallies from senior forward Kira Bochard.

Bochard’s shot on goal from 15 yards in the third minute against senior goalie Emily Orsatt gave the Bulldogs (6-9-3 and 6-5-3 in league) a 1-0 edge.

But it was level at 1-1 a minute later on a goal by senior forward Maddie Riggs from 10 yards off a rebound.

In the 35th minute, Bochard’s shot on goal from 10 yards made it 2-1 as Burbank took the lead at the intermission.

“We played pretty good in the first half,” said Bochard, who will play soccer and run track at the University of Montevallo in Alabama. “We created more opportunities. In the second half we mostly tried to hold on.”

Senior goalie Emily Orsatt makes a save while Kira Bochard (#11) and Nicole Winters (#27) watch. (Photo courtesy Janet Berlin)

The second half shifted in favor of the Indians, who placed third in league play and were on offense it seems the entire time against a tired Burbank defense.

“We gave them too many presents,” Burbank coach Eric Montoya said. “That second goal shouldn’t have happened. Our conditioning hurt us.”

Senior midfielder Danielle Yanez launched a shot on goal from 40 yards in the 11th minute for the Bulldogs and that was followed by shots on goal from Bochard from 25 yards in the 13th minute while sophomore midfielder Kamille Eugenio’s shot on goal from 20 yards in the 26th minute sailed too high.

The Indians (12-8-2 and 8-5-1) then had a pair of shots on goal from 20 yards by senior midfielder Mireya Gonzalez in the 28th minute and the 29th minute.

Bochard, who played in only 14 matches because of her club commitment, had four consecutive shots on goal that included a 10-yarder in the 35th minute that Orsatt made a tremendous stop on, a 10-yarder in the 35th minute that made it 2-1, a 10-yard header in the 38th minute and a 20-yarder in injury time.

Kira Bochard, who scored two gosals, unloads a shot on goal while freshman Ava Kramer (#26) and goalie Emily Orsatt defend. (Photo courtesy Janet Berlin)

“We continued to try and play our game,” Burroughs coach Brady Riggs said of the opening half. “What they [Burbank] do, they do well. We stuck to our style of play in the second half.”

Mosdale’s shot on goal in the 48th minute from 10 yards opened the second half and Mosdale added another shot on goal from 10 yards four minutes later.

Burroughs senior midfielder Alondra Solis had a shot on goal from 20 yards in the 54th minute and Riggs had a 25-yarder sail wide left in the 61st minute.

Gonzalez’s 15-yarder in the 63rd minute was blocked and a 15-yarder by Solis in the 65th minute also failed to find the net.

The Bulldogs broke the spell briefly on sophomore forward Jessica Rocha’s 35-yard shot on goal in the 69th minute.

But Burroughs gathered itself as it had the final five shots on goal as Riggs had a 25-yarder in the 71st minute, Solis from five yards in the 72nd minute, Solis on a penalty kick from 25 yards in the 73rd minute, Gonzalez from 25 yards that soared too high in the 74th minute and the match-tying goal from Mosdale.

Burbank Girls Soccer Prevails Over Burroughs, 2-1

By Rick Assad


It took seven games before the Burbank High girls’ soccer team had its first win.

Since then the Bulldogs have played with more consistency and on Wednesday hosted Burroughs which they held off 2-1 in a Pacific League match.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burbank (3-8-2 and 3-4-2 in league) seized control 1-0 on a goal from sophomore midfielder Maria Perez from 10 yards and just under nine minutes left in the opening half.

For Perez, a transfer from Birmingham, Alabama, this was her first involvement in the rivalry.

“I just knew they were rivals,” she said. “It was pretty intense. It felt pretty good to get the win and the goal. I felt the support from the girls.”

Burbank’s lead was extended to 2-0 on a tally by senior forward Kira Bochard from 25 yards and 13 minutes remaining in the second half.

“I think that we’re finally starting to jell,” Burbank coach Eric Montoya said. “They trust each other now. I think a win like this gives us a lot of confidence for the [CIF Southern Section] playoffs, if we make it that far.”

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

But there was still enough time for the Indians to make a serious run and it was made even more likely when senior midfielder Maddie Riggs knocked one into the net off a rebound with 12 minutes on the clock.

On the play, junior forward Tatiana Mosdale’s shot from point-blank range hit the top of the goal and bounced downward at Riggs, who banged it home.

“We played better in the second half,” Burroughs coach Brady Riggs said. “I’m pleased with the effort, as always. I’m trying to develop soccer players here.”

What followed from this juncture was four consecutive kicks from the Bulldogs, who recently tied Crescenta Valley 3-3 and defeated Muir 10-0, was a boot from 10 yards by senior defender Melanie Tirado with 10 minutes, a blast from senior midfielder Danielle Yanez a minute later from 15 yards, a strike from sophomore midfielder Isabel Partida and Bochard’s kick with seven minutes left that senior goalie Emily Orsatt saved brilliantly.

Burroughs (10-6-1 and 6-3 in league) did have two shots during the extra time against senior goalie Nicole Winters. They came from senior midfielder Alondra Solis and Riggs.

There were no attempts from either team during the first 11 minutes until junior forward Adrianna Sarukhanyan’s kick from 20 yards and 28 minutes left that sailed too high.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Two minutes later, Burroughs junior midfielder Abbie Riggs’ shot from close range missed.

With 18 minutes left, Yanez’s penalty kick from 25 yards ventured wide left and with 12 minutes remaining, Partida’s try from 10 yards was scooped up by Orsatt.

Burbank senior forward Priscilla Romero’s 20-yard rocket with 10 minutes left was off target.

Sarukhanyan’s kick from 25 yards and seven minutes remaining didn’t find the net and her attempt two minutes later from the same distance also failed to hit the back of the net.

The second half opened with senior midfielder Mireya Gonzalez’s kick from 10 yards and 38 minutes left and Yanez’s attempt from 30 yards, one minute later.

With 34 minutes left, Mosdale had an excellent opportunity for a kick, but she passed the ball to Maddie Riggs, who had the ball blocked.

Bochard’s clever header from five yards a minute later also failed to find the goal and Sarukhanyan’s 25-yard shot with 28 minutes showing wasn’t successful.

Yanez’s throw-in landed in the box with 19 minutes left, but Orsatt grabbed it and Mosdale’s attempt with 15 minutes showing was wide left.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian


Burbank Girls Hoops Can’t Escape Crescenta Valley’s Pressure

By Rick Assad


Knowing beforehand that the Crescenta Valley High girls’ basketball team was going to press from the opening tip, it was imperative host Burbank respond by moving the ball.

But for much of the Pacific League game on Tuesday night, the Bulldogs weren’t able to execute that game plan and consequently fell to the Falcons, 46-34.

“They got up in our face and we weren’t able to handle it,” Burbank coach John Wells said. “We just didn’t handle their pressure very well. We knew they were going to do that because they did it the first time we met them at their place.”

Senior point guard Ani Sarkisyan, who scored five points, defends Crescenta Valley’s Michelle Gee in a 46-34 loss on Tuesday. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Partly because of this tactic, the Bulldogs (12-12 and 3-4 in league) failed to score in double figures in all four quarters and converted 10 of 33 field goals for 30.3 percent.

The one saving grace was that Burbank dropped in 12 of 18 from the free-throw line (66.6 percent).

Even so, the Bulldogs, who trailed 33-26 after three quarters, were still within nine points in the fourth quarter, but too many turnovers put an end to the notion of rallying for a win.

Trailing 9-7 entering the second quarter, the Falcons (13-8 and 5-2 in league) made their first three shots including a basket from junior guard Rachel Dayag (game-high 13 points) that made it 13-9 with 6:30 left.

Osanna Tirityan scored a team-best nine points for the Bulldogs. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Falcons were successful on six of 12 from the floor in the second quarter after converting three of 11 in the opening period.

Crescenta Valley pulled ahead 23-17 at the half.

Burbank sophomore shooting guard Osanna Tirityan scored seven of her team-high nine points at the break.

“Everyone who plays us wants to stop Osanna,” Wells said. “They want to keep the ball out of her hands and our point guard Ani [Sarkisyan].”

Sarkisyan, a senior, scored five points and tried her best to get the other players involved.

Tirityan scored four points in the first quarter and then added a three-pointer in the second frame.

Senior forward Sarah Sarquiz, defending Michelle Gee, dropped in eights points. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The only other points Tirityan scored came in the fourth quarter when she sank two free throws.

The Falcons (16 of 48 for 33.3 percent) missed their first three shots in the third quarter and ended the quarter making only three of 15.

Dayag dropped in five points in the third period that included her second trey.

Crescenta Valley outscored Burbank 13-8 in the fourth quarter and drilled four of 10 from the field.

Crescenta Valley begins its fast break against Burbank. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Sophomore guard Caity Bouchard tallied four of her six points in the frame and junior center Mary Baun added four of her six points for the Falcons.

Falcon senior guard Polin Megerdichian tossed in seven points overall and swished in a pair of three-pointers.

Senior forward Sarah Sarquiz accounted for eight points, senior center Emma Kerr added four points, while senior guard Stephanie Grigorian and senior forward Sabrina Zakarian each scored three points for the Bulldogs.

Burbank Girls Basketball Downs Burroughs, 48-43

By Rick Assad


Converting free throws should be a relatively easy task given that there isn’t a defender trying to block the shot.

On Friday night, the Burbank High girls’ basketball team marched to the charity stripe 25 times and converted 20 for 80 percent which helped pushed aside host Burroughs, 48-43, in a Pacific League encounter.

The leader of the pack was sophomore shooting guard Osanna Tirityan, who canned 16 of 19 free throws (84.2 percent) and tossed in a game-best 28 points.

“I had a really good night,” Tirityan said. “I’m not always looking to shoot, but if I do and the ball doesn’t go in, I’m ready for the rebound.”

Burbank’s Osanna Tirityan (#3) led all scorers with 28 points. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs outscored the Indians, 34-25, in the second half and dropped in 18 of 23 free throws (78.2 percent) and 13 of 42 from the field (30.9 percent).

Conversely, the Indians were able to connect on 17 of 26 free throws (65.3 percent) and 13 of 39 from the floor (33.3 percent).

Burbank found itself ahead 36-31 with 4:45 left in the fourth quarter on a hoop from senior point guard Ani Sarkisyan (six points).

Senior center Emma Kerr was another source of offense adding eight of her 10 points in the second half as Burbank (12-11 and 3-3 in league) trailed 18-14 at the half.

But it was Kerr’s bucket with 3:05 on the clock in the third quarter that shaved the Indians’ lead to 26-24.

Junior center Marin Grote (#44) scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds with four blocks for the Indians. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

First-year Burbank Coach John Wells said the thinking was that this was a game his club could and should win.

“I didn’t look at us as the underdog,” he said. “We beat Glendale by 20 points. When we’re playing like we’re capable of playing, we’re unstoppable.”

Matters looked to be in Burroughs’ favor with 5:40 left in the third period on a hoop from senior shooting guard Kamryn Cardenaz (team-best 18 points) that gave the hosts a 24-17 edge.

Still the stubborn Bulldogs moved in front 30-29 heading into the fourth quarter.

Burbank point guard Ani Sarkisyan, who tallied six points, tries to pass the ball in a game against Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I know that it’s a rivalry game, but we try to look at this as just another game,” Wells said.

Senior forward Jocelyn Rieken and junior center Marin Grote each contributed nine points for the Indians (12-9 and 4-2 in league).

Longtime Burroughs Coach Vicky Oganyan wasn’t pleased. “We didn’t make any stops when we had to,” she said. “I don’t want to put the blame on the girls. This was on me. I didn’t put them in a position to succeed.”

Neither team was effective in the opening frame, but Burroughs moved ahead 10-8 behind six points from Cardenaz and three from Grote, who added seven rebounds with four blocks.

Tirityan scored all eight points in the initial quarter for Burbank which made two of 11 from the floor.

Jocelyn Rieken (#24) goes up for a shot. Rieken scored nine points. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Another low scoring quarter followed as Burroughs outscored Burbank 8-6 as Rieken had four points while Tirityan added four.

The momentum changed in the third quarter when the Bulldogs drilled eight of nine free throws and four of 11 from the floor, outscoring the Indians 16-11, who saw Grote tally six points.

Kerr dropped in six points in the third quarter and set the tone with her defense. “Emma’s points were huge for us,” Wells said. “That was the key.”

The trend continued in the fourth quarter with Tirityan adding eight points, six via the free-throw line as the Bulldogs made 10 of 14 from the charity stripe.

Cardenaz dropped in eight points in the quarter with six coming at the free-throw line.

Burroughs Girls Water Polo Takes Out Burbank, 13-3

By Rick Assad


In the blink of an eye, the host Burroughs High girls’ water polo team established an early lead over city rival Burbank on Thursday afternoon and never looked back en route to a 13-3 Pacific League triumph.

The Indians forged a 4-0 opening-quarter advantage and then tacked on four more goals in the second period for an 8-1 cushion.

“They came out early and really stepped it up,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “They’re always up for it [the rivalry]. When you’re up by four, you feel comfortable.”

Junior driver Gwen Turla, shown here in a match from last season, unloaded four goals in a 13-3 win against rival Burbank. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Because of the early lead, Cook was able to go to his bench and they also played at a high level.

“We used every player and we don’t have a falloff,” he pointed out.

Junior setter Bianca Sanchez and junior driver Gwen Turla each scored two goals in the first stanza while Turla added two more in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs received two goals from senior driver Cynthia Abramian in the final period and a solo strike by sophomore driver Michelle Morlock in the second quarter.

The Indians (6-6 and 1-1 in league) built a 1-0 lead on a 10-foot dart from Sanchez with 4:45 left in the initial frame and extended the margin to 2-0 on Turla’s winner from five feet with 4:14 left against senior goalie Clare Griffin.

Burroughs’ lead became 3-0 with 1:07 remaining in the opening frame on a shot by Sanchez from 10 feet with 16 seconds showing and Turla’s bullet from five feet made it 4-0.

The lead swelled to 5-0 with 4:53 left in the second quarter on a goal from 10 feet by junior Cameron Flores and 6-0 on senior Dominique Silva’s 12-foot attempt with 3:53 left.

“Our defense was really good,” Silva said. “We understand what we’re doing on defense. I have confidence in my team.”

Twenty four seconds later, Turla’s dagger from 15 feet made it 7-0 and 8-0 on Turla’s blast from 10 feet with 2:53 showing.

Burbank (3-11 and 1-1 in league) reduced the lead to 8-1 when Morlock found the net from close range with 20 seconds left before the half.

“I know we’re a better team now than in the beginning of the season,” Burbank coach Allyson Young said. “We’re playing much better. I can tell because we didn’t shut down and we played hard. I liked the effort they gave.”

The only goals scored in the third quarter came via a shot from senior Allison Schamber from five feet with 2:24 left and sophomore Aleah Orozco’s toss from 15 feet as 1:04 remained.

The Bulldogs came within 10-2 on Abramian’s tally from 10 feet and 5:49 left.

Burroughs responded with senior setter Elizabeth Wrobel’s toss in front of the cage and 5:25 left that made it 11-2.

The Indians scored the next two goals as Schamber’s attempt from three feet put the hosts ahead 12-2 with 4:57 on the clock, followed by a 10-footer Wrobel put in with 3:11 on the clock that made it an 11-point cushion.

“I do think that we wanted to come out and go hard,” Wrobel said. “We know that it’s a rivalry game.”

The Bulldogs trimmed the margin to 13-3 when Abramian located the back of the cage from five feet and 2:52 left.

Burroughs senior goalie Melanie Gazazian was hoping for a quick start. “We like the rivalry games and it’s always important to come out and play well. Our goal was to come out and play hard from the start.”

The Indians outshot the Bulldogs 30-27 overall and 20-14 at the intermission.

Burbank Boys Hoops Takes Third In Own Tournament

By Rick Assad


In between missing 11 shots to begin the first quarter and tallying 10 points in the final period, the Burbank High boys’ basketball team played pretty well and in the process took third place in the Burbank Winter Tournament 61-55 over Oaks Christian on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (4-1) lost one game to Westlake 73-59 in the five-game tourney, but otherwise it was smooth sailing.

On Saturday, three Burbank players scored in double figures and was paced by senior swingman Michael Woods with 16 points.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior Michael Woods, shown in a game from last season, scored 16 points against Oaks Christian in Saturday’s third-place game of the Winter Tournament. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior forward Faraz Khandaker, who was named to the all-tournament team, finished with 12 points while senior forward Abdullah Kobaissi chipped in with 10.

Senior point guard Cameron Sweeten runs the show and he dropped in eight points, six in the opening half.

The tipping point was the second quarter when the Bulldogs outscored the Lions 26-7.

Burbank drained eight of 15 shots and made six of seven from the free-throw line.

Woods scored nine of his points in the frame and nailed two from thee-point range including one with 3:06 left that gave the Bulldogs a 29-20 lead after trailing 15-13 heading into the second quarter.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior point guard Cameron Sweeten is the floor leader. Sweeten scored eight points versus the Lions. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“We’ve been having slow starts,” Burbank coach Jamayne Potts said. “In between the first and second quarter, I told them to settle down and relax and don’t take so many threes. Move the ball and get a flow going.”

Burbank took command 39-22 at the intermission and shot 54.1 percent (13 of 24).

Burbank is littered with many upperclassmen and that helped right the ship. “This is a senior group. They’ve played together as a team for a while and they know each other,” Potts said. “They’re going to be cool down the stretch. They have composure.”

Potts also realized the Lions (4-2) were going to stick around. “Oaks Christian wasn’t going to roll over,” he said. “We have high expectations.”

The Lions made it close with a 20-point fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough.

Oaks Christian converted six of 12 from the field and five of six from the free-throw stripe.

Senior wing Brennan Corrigan tossed in six of his game-best 17 points in the final period.

Corrigan had five of his team’s nine three-pointers and tossed in 12 points in the second half after being shutout in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs missed their first 11 shots from the floor to begin the game, but then drilled five of eight with Khandaker scoring seven points that included a trey and two free throws.

Burbank shot 42 percent from the field (21 of 50), made eight three-pointers and also hammered 11 of 13 from the free-throw line.

“That’s something [making free throws] we didn’t do very well last year,” Potts said.

The Lions made 18 of 51 from the floor (35.2 percent) and drilled 10 of 13 free throws.

In the other tourney games, the Bulldogs prevailed 64-40 over Roosevelt on Friday behind 27 points from Khandaker, 11 from Kobaissi with senior forward Thomas Clark tossing in 10.

In Thursday’s 57-45 win over Los Angeles Marshall, Sweeten led the way with 22 points followed by 18 from Woods.

In the only loss on Wednesday, Khandaker delivered 22 points while Clark had nine and in the 68-27 triumph over Pasadena Marshall on Tuesday, Kobaissi had 12 points, Khandaker 11 and Woods and Clark each scored eight.

Burbank Girls Water Polo Comes Up Short Against Louisville, 7-6

By Rick Assad


Season openers can be tricky at times and it was for the Burbank High girls’ water polo team on Tuesday.

After an even opening half, the Bulldogs came on strong in the fourth quarter, but still lost to visiting Louisville in a nonleague affair, 7-6.

“They tried their hardest and they’re going to improve,” Burbank coach Allyson Young said. “It was more of a learning experience for some of the girls who haven’t played on the varsity after playing on the junior varsity. There’s a big difference.”

The game-winning tally came with 13 seconds left and was scored by Claire Iannetta on a back-handed throw from 10 feet.

The Bulldogs trailed 4-3 entering the final frame and then fell behind 6-3 on back-to-back goals from Emily Gaines, who finished with a match-best three tallies.

When Gaines scored with 5:22 left in the fourth period it became 5-3 and her shot with 4:44 left on the clock made it a three-goal lead.

But the Bulldogs, who were outshot 23-15, rallied with three consecutive goals to even it at 6-6.

Sophomore driver Michelle Morlock put in a five-meter penalty toss with 4:16 showing in the final period that trimmed the advantage to 6-4.

Burbank came within 6-5 on a score from junior driver Sune Aghakian on a 15-foot shot and 2:42 left.

Suddenly it was level at 6-6 after sophomore driver Camila Salas knocked one into the net from 15 feet as 43 seconds remained.

“They’re going to learn how to play together and they’re going to get much more comfortable,” Young said of her squad that has four seniors on a team of 10.

The Royals led 1-0 on a close-range shot from Rafaella Armeni with 2:48 on the clock in the opening frame only to see the Bulldogs even it at 1-1 on senior driver Stephanie O’Brien’s goal from three feet and 2:22 left.

Burbank took command 3-1 after senior driver Cynthia Abramian launched a 25-foot rainbow and 4:52 remaining to make it 2-1 and it swelled to 3-1 on a goal from seven-feet by Morlock with 3:19 left.

The Royals shaved the lead to 3-2 on a five-foot throw from Sophia Tsavallas and 2:20 showing before the intermission and then evened it at 3-3 when Gaines scored off a rebound with 1:14 remaining.

“I think we were a little more conditioned and that worked to our advantage,” Louisville coach Kendra Klein said. “I had no idea what to expect because I didn’t scout Burbank. But they’re a scrappy team.”

There was only one goal scored in the third stanza and that was off a rebound effort by Tsavallas with 1:46 left.

“I gave them [the team] the key and for the most part they executed the game plan,” Klein said.