Tag Archives: Burroughs Girls Basketball

Fountain Valley Shocks Burroughs in Upset, 61-57

Burroughs struggled to keep Fountain Valley at bay in the loss (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs struggled to keep Fountain Valley at bay in the loss (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Rick Assad
Special to BurbankNBeyond

In a season that delivered far more victories than defeats, the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team struggled from the outset in a surprising 61-57 loss to Fountain Valley in the opening round of the CIF Southern Section Division IA playoffs.

Bailee Trotta of Burroughs defends a Fountain Valley player (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Bailee Trotta of Burroughs defends a Fountain Valley player (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians dug a hole that was simply too deep in the opening half, and could not fully recover as the Barons fended off a late charge and claimed the upset on Saturday.

Burroughs, the No. 8 seed, had a miserable night shooting from the field, making 27.7 percent (20 of 72), but improved slightly in the second half when it hit 31.5 percent (12 of 38).

“I think we missed like 20 layups in the first half,” Burroughs Coach Vicky Oganyan said. “I knew it was a tough draw even though we had a better record. Fountain Valley has been through this before. They have more seniors who have been in the playoffs. We really only have one [Aysia Shellmire].”

If not for the overall play of Shellmire in the second half, the Barons (12-15) could have coasted at the end.

Though Burroughs was outrebounded, 25-13, in the opening half, the Indians pounded the boards in the second half to the tune of 31-13. The effort was a little too late.

“It’s tough to come back,” Oganyan said. “The kids have to calm down and make shots. It’s competition. You just have to do it, but we didn’t.”  

Aysia Shellmire, #14, capped off a spectacular career scoring 24 points (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Aysia Shellmire, #14, capped off a spectacular career scoring 24 points (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians (23-5) rallied to tie it at 50-50 with less than two minutes showing on the clock when Shellmire, a senior who had a game-high 24 points, scored inside the painted area. 

Fountain Valley gathered itself, didn’t flinch, and outscored Burroughs, 11-7, the rest of the way.

Senior shooting guard Jasmine Matar’s two three-pointers during this span helped stem Burroughs’ rally. Matar’s second trey gave the Barons a 56-52 lead as she finished with eight points.

That Fountain Valley toils in a highly-competitive league proved critical according to Head Coach Cory Clarke.

“It’s a huge factor that we play in the Sunset League,” Clarke said. “We have to play some of the best teams like Edison, Huntington Beach and Los Alamitos. There are five solid teams in the Sunset League.”

Shellmire scored three points in the opening half in which the Indians trailed 15-11 after the first quarter, and 35-20 at the intermission, but the 6-1 center dropped in 21 points in the second half to lead the valiant comeback.

The Indians Paula Galicia dribbles up court against pressure (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians Paula Galicia dribbles up court against pressure (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Fountain Valley junior point guard Danielle Kennedy was the game-changer as she set the tone with her ball-handling skills and passing ability.

Kennedy, who finished with a team-best 19 points, was able to penetrate into the lane, and either distribute the ball to an open teammate or take her own shot.

In the fourth quarter, Kennedy tallied five points, including three points at the charity stripe and was a steady influence when the Indians made their late kick.

Fountain Valley, which finished 3-7 in league for fourth place, came out and drilled seven of 14 shots in the opening quarter as senior center Kelcie Mayott (12 points) dropped in six points, while Kennedy had five points.

Junior shooting guard Sidney Ortega (14 points) kept the Indians close by scoring five points, but Burroughs, which shared the championship in the Pacific League at 12-2, made five of 20 attempts from the floor.

The Barons, who shot 60 percent (15 of 25) in the first half, erupted for a 20-point second quarter behind seven points from Kennedy and six points from junior power forward Emily Krause (13 points).

Burroughs was having a tough time from the field and seemed out of sorts with Ortega the only effective player as she scored nine points in the first 16 minutes of action.

Jakarra Waddell closes out on a shooter (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Jakarra Waddell closes out on a shooter (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Shellmire scored four points to begin the third quarter, but the Indians then missed six shots before Shellmire, who added 10 points in the stanza, scored on consecutive hoops as Burroughs came within 42-31 at the 4:25 mark. 

Fountain Valley, which made 37.5 percent (nine of 24) in the second half, converted six of 14 from the floor in the third quarter with Krause tallying five points as the Barons led 48-36 entering the fourth quarter.

Burroughs’ shooting woes continued into the final quarter, drilling seven of 18 attempts as Shellmire tallied 11 points, while junior power forward Jakarra Waddell (seven points) had five.

The Indians rallied to tie it at 50 apiece but this night belonged to Fountain Valley as it advanced to the second round of the CIF Playoffs.


Burroughs Triumphs on Senior Night

By Dick Dornan
BurbankNBeyond Sports Editor

Aysia Shellmire scored 16 points to lead Burroughs to a 60-44 victory against Glendale on Senior Night. The Indians remained tied for first place with Arcadia with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

Aysia Shellmire scored a game-high 16 points (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Aysia Shellmire scored a game-high 16 points (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Seeking to stay on pace for its first league title since 2011, Burroughs came strong out of the gate taking a quick 8-2 advantage en route to a 16-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Shellmire, who grabbed six rebounds and blocked six shots in the game, scored six points in the quarter including back to back baskets on beautifully executed high-low passes from Jakarra Waddell.

“At the start of the game we came in focused. We did our game plan and people made shots,” Burroughs Coach Vicky Oganyan said. “Anytime we have a good start to the game it helps our confidence.”

Waddell had an offensive rebound put-back that gave JBHS a 20-8 lead with 3:08 left in the second quarter.

The Indians powered their way to the basket time and time again scoring their first 22 points of the game in the key.

Sophomore Davina Del Castillo knocked down a 15-foot jumper from the right wing for the first points outside the paint that made it 24-11. A steal and subsequent 17-foot jumper at the buzzer by Delaney Nicol gave the Indians a commanding 26-11 lead going into halftime.

Shellmire, one of four seniors on the JBHS roster, scored the opening basket of the second half on an assist from Nicol that gave Burroughs a 17-point lead. Despite being only a sophomore, Nicol’s poise and steady play at the point guard position has benefitted the Indians.

“The team backs me up and they are always there for me. It feels good to know you have a team behind you,” Nicol said. “It gives me more confidence when I know I have more people to pass to.”

Glendale, which upset co-leader Arcadia in the first round of play, responded with a 9-2 run to cut the deficit to 30-20.

Waddell’s driving layup in the middle of the key capped off a 6-0 run by the Indians to close out the third quarter with a 36-20 lead.

Burroughs pushed the lead to a game-high 20 points after Del Castillo made a soft four-foot jumper with 5:12 left in the third quarter. The 44-24 lead looked insurmountable but Glendale refused to go away.

Delaney Nicol played a strong game at the point for the Indians (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Delaney Nicol played a strong game at the point for the Indians (Photo by Dick Dornan)

The Nitros went on a 10-0 run before Nicol converted a three-point play after being fouled on a strong drive to the basket with 1:53 remaining in the contest. The bucket broke a three minute drought by the Indians and gave them some more breathing room leading 47-34.

“My coach kept telling me that if I see a lane to just take it. She’s been telling me that for a long time,” said Nicol, who is celebrating her 16th birthday today. “So when I saw it I just took it. I saw a clear lane to the basket and I just went in and made the shot. I knew that we needed points to stop their momentum.”

Glendale made one final challenge when Ellin Avanessian swished all three of her free throws after she was fouled on a three-point attempt with 33.8 seconds left on the clock. Trailing 49-41, the Nitros were forced to foul in hopes the Indians would struggle at the foul line.

That would not be the case as Burroughs connected on eight-of-nine free throws down the stretch to secure the 16-point victory. The Indians were outstanding in the final period going 12 for 13 from the charity stripe.

“Glendale is always a dangerous team. It doesn’t matter what year it is or what talent they have,” Oganyan said. “They always have a great game plan and the team plays hard. It was a dangerous game on our schedule but we found a way to win.”

Del Castillo finished the game with 10 points, nine rebounds, five steals and three assists. Waddell contributed eight points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Burroughs travels to Pasadena on Monday for a 5 p.m. tip-off.








Burroughs Girls Win West Coast Festival Holiday Basketball Tournament

Burroughs Indians (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
BurbankNBeyond Sports Editor

With plenty of resolve and determination, the Burroughs girls basketball team ended 2012 with the same aspirations for 2013: a championship trophy in hand. Sidney Ortega scored 21 points to lead the Indians to the West Coast Festival Holiday Tournament title over St. Monica, 65-57. A total of 32 teams participated in the five day tournament.

Sidney Ortega scores two of her team-high 21 points (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Senior Aysia Shellmire added 14 points, including 10 huge points in the fourth quarter, Bailee Trotta chipped in with 13, and All-Tournament selection Davina Del Castillo contributed 15 rebounds, seven assists and six points.

“This gives us a lot of confidence and I think we will raise up and take our skills to another level,” said Shellmire, a three-year starter for JBHS. “This is my last year and I’m ready to go all out. I want to focus on the team and getting it done.”

Burroughs (11-2) fell behind 8-2 to begin the game but responded with an emphatic 15-4 run to take a 17-12 lead.

Tied at 17 apiece early in the second quarter, Trotta knocked down an open 12-footer to cap a 14-1 run to make the score 31-18.

The Indians led at halftime, 33-22, and increased their advantage to 46-31 late in the third quarter after Trotta coverted a rare four-point play. She was fouled on a three-point basket from the right wing and made the subsequent free throw.

Burroughs’ Jakarra Waddell defends a St. Monica player (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Trailing 50-38 to begin the fourth quarter, St. Monica (13-3)  rallied behind the inspiring play of Briana Harris who scored a game-high and tournament record 40 points.

Harris scored the first 10 Mariner points of the final period to cut the deficit to 50-48.

With 4:28 remaining in the contest, Shellmire stepped up and hit a soft turnaround jumper from 10 feet out to give the Indians a 52-48 lead. After a St. Monica field goal, Shellmire came through again with back-to-back offensive rebound put-backs to extend the lead to 56-50.

Shellmire wasn’t finished. After Harris connected on a three-pointer from the top of the key, Shellmire hit another smooth jumper from the left elbow followed by a layup for a 60-55 lead with 2:05 to go.

A beautifully designed backdoor cut for a layup by Ortega after a timeout made it 62-55 with less than a minute left.

Aysia Shellmire, #14, stood head and shoulders above the competition throughout the tournament (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I was very happy to see my team be able to maintain composure and make some big plays,” Burroughs Coach Vicky Oganyan said. “We responded with our own offense and that was good to see.”

Harris did all she could for St. Monica scoring 15 of her 40 points in the fourth quarter. Shellmire carried Burroughs in the final period with her 10 pivotal points. It was a dual that left the crowd buzzing in admiration for each player.

“I don’t know what came over me,” Shellmire said. “I didn’t have a very good third quarter so I felt I needed to step up.”

Shellmire did and the Indians are now 11-2 as a result.

“I am happy with the way we are playing,” Oganyan said. “It’s nice but we have to focus on league. Everybody in league will be ready for us. Now we have a target on us.” 

Burroughs begins Pacific League action on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Glendale High.


Burroughs Holds On For Girls Basketball Win

If head coach Vicky Oganyan makes it through this season without having to see a doctor for some stress induced ailment than chances are she can make it through anything. Even when her young squad wins, they have those moments and mental lapses of an inexperienced team that makes things interesting.

In what was in effect a playoff game, February 7 at Glendale, the Burroughs girls’ basketball team built a 10-point lead in the final quarter, only to have the contest come down to a final Nitros’ possession and a hurried shot right under the basket.

With .5 seconds remaining, Glendale inbounded the ball trailing by two. A player leaked out from a crowd and had an open look at a game-tying score, however, the shot was hurried because of the time left on the clock and it clanked off the side of the rim as Burroughs held on for a 37-35 Pacific League victory.

The win, coupled with a Crescenta Valley loss to Muir moves Burroughs into a fourth place tie with the Falcons and sets the stage for the Indians to try to secure a postseason berth on Thursday when they host Burbank High. The Indians hold the tiebreaker edge on CV having swept the Falcons this season.

“Drama to the max,” Oganyan said late Tuesday. “We tried to give it away but we held on.”

Oganyan was called for a questionable technical with :14 left in the contest, which gave Glendale some life. Upset that the officials had missed an intentional foul in an effort to stop the clock she attempted to discuss with the head referee. As she approached she was warned to return to her bench area. As she turned, she heard a whistle and was informed she had been given a technical.

“He told the scorer’s table I had gone out onto the court, but I am allowed to go out on the court in front of my bench during a timeout,” she said. “It didn’t make any sense and it was one of several things that went wrong in the 4th (quarter).”

The Indians managed only three points in the final frame and surrendered 12 to a Nitros’ team that had only managed 23 points in its first three quarters. Aysia Shellmire had a key block in the game’s final minute and led all scorers with 12 points despite a poor shooting night (5-of-15 from the floor). DeLaney Nicol and Sidney Ortega each added eight points. Davina Del Castillo was held scoreless, but grabbed 10 rebounds.

Burroughs is 6-7 in league and 11-15 overall this season. Burbank has clinched second place in the Pacific League after beating Arcadia on Tuesday, February 7 but it will be gunning for its rivals and honing in on a rare sweep opportunity. The Bulldogs are 16-10 overall and 10-3 in league.

Burroughs Basketball Having Tough Christmas Vacation

It hasn’t been the most memorable holiday season for either the boys’ or girls’ basketball teams from Burroughs. Both head coaches took the time to catch-up with me this week, and some frustration was clear.

Adam Hochberg’s squad dropped three of four in the Santa Barbara Holiday Classic dropping them to 7-6 overall on the nonleague season. Hochberg felt his team played down to the level of the competition throughout the tournament and believed that at least, on paper, his team should have come-up with at least a .500 record in the tournament.

In their finale, the Indians fell to Leuzinger by 18 points after staying close in the first half. “They went to a level in the second half that we just couldn’t match,” he said.

Hochberg called his team’s effort “mediocre at best” and he was clearly disappointed in the effort on display. Although improved from a season ago, the team still isn’t talented enough to simply show-up and expect to beat anyone. The third year coach is hoping that the probably return of Jorge Flores-Pere and Ezkiel Zuniga from injuries will provide a spark. Lawrence White was injured in the final game of the Santa Barbara tournament and will likely be out awhile.

Girls’ coach, Vicky Oganyan  continues to be upbeat in what she knows will be a rebuilding year. That said, for an extremely competitive coach coming off of a 25 win season, the morale victories are getting tougher and tougher to enjoy. Thursday, her team fell to Hawthorne, 59-56, to fall to 4-8 on the season.

Aysia Shellmire scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and teammate Davina Del Castillo added 10 rebounds and five assists in a hard fought loss for Burroughs. Delaney Nicol had six points and Sidney Ortega eight. The Tribe plays December 30 versus Pasadena Poly at 4:30 p.m in the West Coast Festival.

On December 28, the Indians were blown out by Harvard Westlake, 68-44. Ortega had nine points, as didJessica AdamsJakarra Waddell added six points and six rebounds while Aysia Shellmire has a solid all-around effort with six points, five rebounds and five blocks.

Role-Reversal: Burroughs Teams Find Themselves in Far Different Roles Than Last Season

A year ago at this time the Burroughs High School’s boys’ basketball team was in year two of a rebuilding project. The Indians struggled and stumbled to a 3-24 overall record and a last place finish in the Pacific League.

Meanwhile, the Indians’ girls’ basketball team enjoyed their first league title in 32 years. They finished 25-5 overall, set a program record for wins in a season and advanced to the Division II A quarterfinals.

November 23rd’s  annual alumni games were an indication that the two programs are in a role reversal for this coming year. The boys’ team showcases veterans with experience, while the girls’ team may start a pair of freshmen while reloading without former Pacific League MVP, Lischa Elsenbach. Neither team will be as dreadful as the last place finishers of the boys’ squad a season ago, but neither is promising league championships just yet either. Here’s a more in-depth look at both teams as they gear-up for the 2011-2012 basketball season.


Coach Adam Hochberg has worked hard to turn around a program that has struggled the last two season. He promises this season his team will play with, “pride, passion and purpose.” Several players are entering their third seasons on the varsity level and seven return from last season. Add in a successful summer campaign and hopes are high the Indians will compete this season.

“We can be a top-three team in the league and we can make the playoffs,” Hochberg said. “We certainly are not going to be the pushovers we’ve been the last couple of years.”

Burroughs leading scorer from a year ago, junior Jorge Flores-Pere injured a hamstring two weeks ago and could be sidelined until league play starts in 2012. The injury was especially concerning for a team and scheme built on speed as the Indians may showcase five guards on the floor at once in some action this season.

“We will look to take advantage of our quickness,” Hochberg said. “We’ll look to get up and down the court in a hurry.”

In addition to Flores-Pere, Burroughs also returns seniors Austyn Thompson, Zeke Zuniga, Pedro Gonzales III and Brandon Jimenez as well as juniors Lawrence White, Carlos Mier Jr. and Hanoak Amanios. Transfer Ty Bennett from Burbank High School will also be in the mix.

Burroughs lacks one bonafide star, but there are at least a half-a-dozen players close in ability who could each lead in scoring on any given night. One gets the sense that is how Hochberg likes it.

“The sum of our parts are really good, ” said Hochberg. “We will be better on offense, no doubt, but our focus will remain on our defense.”


Junior Aysia Shellmire is the lone Indian who saw significant minutes during last season’s championship run. She averaged nearly ten points per game (9.8 ppg), as well as 7.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks en route to being a first-team all Pacific League selection.

Shellmire will be joined by Delaney Nicol, the daughter of former Burroughs girls’ basketball coach and current softball coach, Doug Nicol. Although Delaney is presently nursing an injury, she joins a long history of freshman guards for the Tribe. Another freshman, Davina Del Castillo will likely start in the front court.

Two sophomores, Sydney Ortega and Paula Galicia will also be key to whatever success the Indians find this season. Seniors Nicole Wiliams, Kaycee Cartee, and Gabby Pineiro as well as junior Bilee Trotta also figure to be important pieces for head coach Vicky Oganyan.

“We have some youth, but we have talent,” she said. “Everyone works, we’re going to have some growing pains but we are going to be fine.”

Burbank, Pasadena, Muir and Crescenta Valley all figure to be tough this year in the Pacific League.