Tag Archives: girls basketball

Burroughs Girls Still Undefeated In Pacific League, Toss Aside Hoover, 53-24

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


Smothering and relentless defense along with sizzling shooting in the first quarter was at the heart of the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team’s 53-24 triumph over host Hoover in a Pacific League match on Friday.

Eleven players scored for the Indians who remain undefeated in league play with senior guard Abbey Ibarra leading the way after tallying a game-high 14 points.

The Indians (12-7 and 5-0 in league) connected on 21 of 64 from the field for 32.8 percent, but drained 10 of 20 in the opening quarter as the visitors took a 23-2 lead.

“We started off really well and we played with good energy,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “Overall we played hard, but we need to correct some mistakes offensively.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Abbey Ibarra, shown here against Pasadena, tossed in a game-best 14 points in a rout versus Hoover on Friday. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Ibarra tallied nine of her points in the opening stanza including nailing a three-pointer.

Senior guard Jordan Meltzer, who also canned a three-point shot in the initial quarter, scored all of her nine points in the first quarter.

“We just try to stick to the game plan,” Ibarra said of the team’s philosophy. “We try to listen to the coach. Our coaches prepare us well enough.”

Knowing that the Indians are gunning for a fourth straight league title, is there added pressure to win?

“Sometimes I feel the pressure because we don’t know what the other team will bring,” Ibarra pointed out. “We think that we’re going to get a lot better because that’s a challenge for our team.”

Burroughs extended its lead to 34-9 at the intermission as junior guard Kamryn Cardenaz (six points) dropped in four points in the second quarter after scoring two points in the first quarter.

Sophomore center Marin Grote, who finished with five points, had a hoop and a free throw in the second quarter, and later scored a bucket in the third quarter.

Hoover made one of seven from the field in the opening quarter and hit one of eight in the second quarter.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Junior guard Kamryn Cardenaz scored all six points in the first half as the Indians led 34-9 over the host Tornadoes. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs struggled from the floor in the third quarter scoring five points and converted two of 13.

Beside Ibarra’s hoop, the Indians received a Grote bucket and a free throw from junior forward Haley Wilson as Burroughs took a 39-12 advantage into the final quarter.

The Indians were a little more successful in the fourth quarter after drilling five of 17.

The reserves were in at this point as senior guard Taryn Mejia poured in five points including a three-pointer with a pair of free throws.

Meanwhile freshman guard Ayumi DeHerrera added four points, freshman guard Jillian Kukawski canned a three-pointer and junior forward Jocelyn Rieken added two points.

The Tornadoes (5-12 and 1-4 in league) drilled five of 38 from the field (13.1 percent) and were led by senior small forward Lilit Aghanes with seven points followed by junior guard Khiara Almendras with six points.

The Indians will face Glendale on the road next Tuesday with a 5:30 p.m. start.

Meltzer, Grote Pace Burroughs To 54-16 Triumph Over Pasadena

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


Experience and youth helped carry the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team to a 54-16 thrashing of visiting Pasadena on Friday night in a Pacific League encounter.

Senior guard Jordan Meltzer poured in a game-high 15 points and sophomore reserve center Marin Grote tossed in 10 points as the Indians are 2-0 in league action and 9-7 overall.

“We know what we’re supposed to do,” Meltzer said. “We made some mistakes in the opening half and coach was mad. We tried to remain focused because in the long run mistakes against really good teams are going to hurt us.”

Burroughs, which hit 22 of 50 shots from the field for 44 percent, blanked Pasadena (5-10 and 0-2 in league) 11-0 in the opening quarter and then outscored the Bulldogs 26-7 in the second quarter.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior guard Abbey Ibarra attempts a shot during 54-16 win over Pasadena. Ibarra had eight points. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Indians made 14 of 35 attempts from the floor (40 percent) in the opening half and outrebounded the Bulldogs, 39-31, who converted four of 37 for 10.8 percent.

“We did a lot of good things in the first half, but there were some things that we didn’t do well,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “I’m always looking for perfection, but that’s the coach in me.”

Oganyan was pleased with the overall defensive attitude.  “I’m happy with the defensive energy,” she said.

Meltzer scored on a three-point shot in the opening quarter while Grote nailed a single free throw.

Meltzer really shined in the second quarter as she scored nine points as the Indians made 10 of 14 from the field.

Junior forward Haley Wilson accounted for five points in blitz over Pasadena. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Junior forward Haley Wilson accounted for five points in blitz of the Bulldogs. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“I could have done way better like have a little more assists today,” Meltzer said.

In the same stanza Grote, a standout volleyball player, muscled her way to seven points as she tossed in two buckets and three free throws.

Senior guard Abbey Ibarra, who finished with eight points, also showed off her talents by scoring five points.

Ibarra hit a three-pointer in the second quarter after drilling a trey in the first quarter.

Junior forward Haley Wilson dropped in four points in the third quarter after scoring one point in the second quarter and finished with five points.

“My top eight are the ones who are going to lead the way for us offensively,” Oganyan said.

After three quarters the Indians were comfortably ahead of the Bulldogs, 50-10.

Freshman forward Nicole Rumfola had a strong outing as she had six points, with four points coming in the fourth quarter. Rumfola also scored a hoop in the third quarter.

Senior guard Brooke Radcliff, junior guard Kamryn Cardenaz, senior guard Melissa Garcia, junior forward Jocelyn Rieken and freshman guard Ayumi DeHerrea all scored two points.

Senior guard Victoria Agundez led the way for Pasadena with five points followed by sophomore forward Mariah Cathcart with four points.

The Indians will visit Arcadia on Monday in a league match. Tipoff is 5:30 p.m.


Burbank Girls Smash Muir In Pacific League Opener

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


Burbank High girls’ basketball Coach Bruce Breeden had a pretty good idea that Tuesday’s Pacific League opener against overmatched and visiting Muir could turn ugly.

It did just that as the Bulldogs led 19-0 after the opening quarter and then pulled in front 34-4 at the half, en route to a 50-9 win.

Burbank converted 23 of 58 shots from the floor for 39.6 percent after drilling 16 of 33 at the intermission.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Senior point guard Ani Sarkisyan scored six points in a 50-9 win over Muir in the Pacific League opener. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Bulldogs grabbed 37 rebounds and hit three of 13 from the free-throw line.

Freshman shooting guard/small forward Osanna Tirityan and junior power forward Sarah Sarquiz led the way with nine points each.

“The idea that we wanted to work on was fundamentals,” Breeden said. “That’s what we wanted to stick to. Our second unit followed that plan very well.”

The Mustangs (1-5 and 0-1 in league) were held without any points in the first and third quarters.

“The first half we did what we wanted to do, while in the second half we were a little bit lazy,” Breeden pointed out.

The Bulldogs came out and connected on nine of 18 shots in the opening quarter with Tirityan scoring seven points including a three-pointer.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burbank junior power forward Sarah Sarquiz tallied a co-game high nine points. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Junior center Emma Kerr tallied half of her eight points in the stanza, while senior point guard Ani Sarkisyan dropped in six points.

Burbank (11-4 and 1-0 in league) then canned seven of 15 shots from the field in the second quarter with Kerr adding four points followed by four points from Sarquiz.

The third quarter saw the Bulldogs make four of 12 from the floor as Sarquiz tossed in four points.

Sarquiz and Tirityan each scored a bucket in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs made three of 13 from the fleld.

The Mustangs connected on two of 21 shots (9.5 percent) and made five of nine from the free-throw line, while pulling down 20 rebounds.

The league schedule continues for the Bulldogs who visit Crescenta Valley on Friday with a 5:30 p.m. tipoff.


Burroughs Girls Hoopsters Stay Focused

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


Reaching the top is hard work and never easy, and it won’t be for the Burroughs High girls basketball team which is gunning for a fourth straight Pacific League title.

The talent is there according to Coach Vicky Oganyan, whose team went undefeated in league play at 14-0 for the second year in a row, was the top seed in the CIF Southern Section I-A playoffs, advanced to the semifinals and went 30-3.

Aside from the starters and some rotation players, this team lacks experience. “We have a lot of newcomers to the varsity and they are slowly learning the game and getting used to playing at the varsity speed,” Oganyan said. “Our eight returners will lead the way with their experience. As long as we continue working hard and playing hard, we will be alright.”

Photo  By: Edward Tovmassian

Senior guard Jordan Meltzer is a sharp-shooter and floor leader. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians are 7-7 after participating in the Valencia Tournament, Burroughs Tournament and the West Coast Holiday Tournament.

League play begins on Jan. 5 against Crescenta Valley. Burroughs will also meet Burbank on Jan.22 and will host the Bulldogs on Feb. 11.

Burroughs will be paced by 5-foot-3 senior Jordan Meltzer, who will play point and shooting guard.

“Jordan is a good outside shooter, quick and can handle the pressure,” Oganyan said.

Senior co-captain Abbey Ibarra is 5-6 and a guard and an excellent shooter.

“Abbey can slash to the basket and is a great defender,” Oganyan noted.

Senior co-captain Brooke Radcliff is 5-7 and can play guard or forward, which makes her valuable.

“Brooke is also good at slashing to the basket and is a great rebounder and defender,” Oganyan pointed out. “She’s very tough and has improved her outside shot.”

Junior Kamryn Cardenaz is a 5-8 guard/forward and very strong. “She’s a great rebounder and is very explosive to the basket with a good outside shot,” Oganyan said.

Junior Haley Wilson is a 5-8 forward who like Cardenaz, doesn’t back down. “Haley is a strong rebounder and has improved her outside game with range and is a great defender,” Oganyan said.

Photo  By: Edward Tovmassian

Senior guard Abbey Ibarra will be counted on to score, rebound, pass, defend and set the tone on the floor. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The key members off the bench include 5-9 junior forward Jocelyn Rieken.

“She has a good outside shot and inside post moves,” Oganyan said. “We’re looking to have her rebound and play tough defense.”

Marin Grote is a 6-4 sophomore center and a superb volleyball player with aspirations of playing in college.

“Marin is very athletic, agile and will help us with rebounding, scoring and defending in the paint,” Oganyan said.

Melissa Garcia is a 5-5 senior guard with an excellent shooting touch.

“Melissa will play some point and can handle the pressure,” Oganyan said.

The newcomers will be comprised of 5-6 senior guard Taryn Mejia, who works hard and has a good outside shot according to Oganyan.

The others include 5-9 junior forward Caitlyn Pentland. “She moved up from the junior varsity and can help us with rebounding,” Oganyan said.

Vanessa Villa is a 5-11 sophomore forward/center. “Vanessa works hard and is trying to refine her game,” Oganyan said.

Photo  By: Edward Tovmassian

Junior guard/forward Kamryn Cardenaz is strong, a good shooter, rebounder and explodes to the hoop. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The others include 5-6 freshman guard Jillian Kukawski. “Jill has gotten better over the summer and is developing her outside shot,” Oganyan said. “She’s very active, tough and will help us with hustle plays.”

Freshman guard Arianna Farias is 5-3 and is a “tough and feisty defender who looks to improve her stock,” according to Oganyan.

Freshman Emily Gutierrez is a 5-5 guard and has an “accurate outside shot, is strong and can handle the ball,” according to Oganyan.

Freshman Ayumi DeHerrera is a 5-1 guard with an “exceptional outside shot, quick and a rugged defender,” Oganyan said.

Freshman Nicole Rumfola is a 5-8 forward with a “terrific outside shot, is quick and a splendid defender,” according to Oganyan.

Burroughs Is Fourth In Own Tourney; Burbank Finishes Second

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


The Burroughs High girls’ basketball team (5-4) sparkled at the free-throw line, making 27 of 30, but still lost to Alemany 69-47 in the Gold Division third place game of the Burroughs Tournament on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Burbank (7-2) fell to Brentwood 59-40 in the Silver Division final despite 12 points and seven rebounds from freshman shooting guard/small forward Osanna Tirityan and 12 points from senior power forward Christina Mkrtchyan.

On Friday night, hoping to reach the finals, Burroughs struggled as the Indians suffered a 49-41 setback to Granada Hills in a semifinal contest.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior guard Jordan Meltzer shined in 49-41 loss to Granada Hills with 14 points. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Highlanders outscored the Indians in every quarter except the second when Burroughs tallied 10 points to four for Granada Hills.

The Indians hit 16 of 53 shot attempts from the field for 30.1 percent, made four of 12 from the free-throw stripe and was outrebounded 41-24.

“We need to follow the game plan and we didn’t,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “We didn’t play well offensively and we didn’t play well defensively. We need to execute and we didn’t.”

Senior guard Jordan Meltzer showed the way with 14 points for the Indians and scored 10 points in the second half.

The next best was senior guard Abbey Ibarra’s eight points, while junior guard Kamryn Cardenaz added seven points.

The Highlanders, who were paced by junior forward Marlene Salazar’s game-high 16 points, led 17-11 after the first quarter. Granada Hills made seven of 13 from the field while the Indians managed five of 14 as Ibarra nailed a three-pointer with four others contributing a hoop including Meltzer.

Burroughs made a dent in the second quarter as Granada Hills (18 of 42 for 42.8 percent) converted two of 11 from the floor. The Indians nailed four of 14 and went into the intermission knotted at 21-21.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior guard Brooke Radcliff goes up for a shot against the Highlanders. Radcliff had six points. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior guard Melissa Garcia dropped in all of her four points in the second quarter for the Indians, and senior guard Brooke Radcliff (six points) added two free throws.

Granada Hills, which also saw senior point guard Dayna Takana score 13 points and senior shooting guard Ivy Nyuyen drop in 11, explode for 15 points in the third quarter as Nguyen and Tanaka each drilled a three-pointer.

The Highlanders made four from three-point range on the evening with Tanaka, who had nine points in the second half, chipping in with three.

The Indians were limited to 10 points in the third quarter with Meltzer contributing five points that included a trey and two free throws and Ibarra’s three-point shot that cut the Highlanders’ lead to 34-31 with 1:06 left as Granada Hills called time out.

Granada Hills would take a 36-31 lead into the fourth quarter and then nail three of six from the floor and seven of nine from the charity line as Tanaka made five.

Burroughs struggled from the field in the fourth quarter, making four of 16 and one of six from the free-line stripe. Meltzer did have five points in the stanza including a three-pointer.


Burbank Girls Hoopsters Shoot For The Top

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


Yassemeen “Yazzy” Sa’ Dullah was one of the best girls basketball players in the Pacific League for several seasons, but is now toiling as a point guard for the University of West Virginia.

Because her 18 point scoring average, seven rebounds and three steals will be missing from the lineup, longtime Burbank High Coach Bruce Breeden feels it will take a “team effort” in order to fill her substantial shoes.

Last season, Sa’ Dullah helped the Bulldogs finish 16-14 overall, 9-5 in the Pacific League for third place, and advance to the second-round of CIF Southern Section Division I-AA playoffs.

Photo  By: Edward Tovmassian

Burbank Coach Bruce Breeden thinks the Bulldogs will be competitive in the Pacific League. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“The Pacific League looks to be between Crescenta Valley, Burroughs and Arcadia at the top,” Breeden said. “We’re in that next tier, but we could move into that top section. But I think we’re going to be competitive.”

Burbank opens its league campaign on Jan. 5 at Muir, hosts Burroughs on Jan. 22, and visits the Indians on Feb. 11.

The Bulldogs are 6-1 after playing in the San Gabriel Valley Tournament and the Burroughs Tournament.

Burbank’s starting five includes senior power forward Christina Mkrtchyan, junior center Emma Kerr, junior small forward Sabrina Zakarian, senior point guard Ani Sarkisyan and freshman shooting/point guard Osanna Tirityan.

“Christina is a three-year varsity player and a two-year starter,” Breeden said of the 5-foot-8 Mkrtchyan. “She’s a hard worker and is one of the best shooters. She’s a vocal leader and a captain. This is going to be her breakout year.”

Kerr, at 6-0, is expected to be a force in the middle and contribute points and rebound. “Emma has made great strides in the off-season,” Breeden said. “She rebounds well and is a good defender.”

Photo  By: Edward Tovmassian

Senior power forward Christina Mkrtchyan will have a major role this season. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Breeden sees good things from the 5-9 Zakarian. “This will be her first year on the varsity, but there’s lots of upside,” he pointed out. “She rebounds well and is developing an outside game. The only thing she lacks is varsity experience.”

Breeden said the 5-5 Sarkisyan is the boss on the floor. “Ani is the floor leader and she has a year of experience,” he said. “She’s getting stronger and has really worked on her game.”

According to Breeden, the 5-9 Tirityan is still developing her skills. “The big thing with Osanna is that she has a lot of upside,” he said. “She has good size and has an excellent basketball IQ. She’ll have a major role this season.”

Senior shooting guard Lenneah Hope-Pasion is 5-9, and the first off the bench. “She’s high energy and smart,” Breeden said. “She always knows where the ball is and she likes to run and is an exciting player.”

Photo  By: Edward Tovmassian

Junior center Emma Kerr will be asked to score, rebound and play defense. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Meanwhile 5-8 junior power forward Sarah Sarquiz is coming off a torn ACL, but is happy to be getting a chance to play basketball.

“She’s just excited to put on a uniform,” Breeden said. “She likes to bang on defense and is a great utility player. Right now she’s not in playing shape but will be by the time Pacific League starts.”

The rest of the team shapes up as follows: 5-7 senior guard Coleen Shamalian, 5-5 senior point guard Celine Shamalian, 5-4 senior shooting guard Jamie Alonzo, 5-7 junior small forward Stephanie Grigorian, 5-6 junior shooting guard Emily Pennings, and 5-4 freshman shooting/point guard Rita Khechumyan.

SPORTS SHORTS: Girls Basketball – All Good Things Must End

All Good Things Must End

The fairytale season that the Burbank High girls’ basketball team enjoyed came to an end on Tuesday at the hands of Summit High.

The CIF Southern Section’s Division IA top seed, Summit, advanced by way of their 72-49 win over the Bulldogs — who were the 13th seed in the Division and the only non top seed to reach the final four.

The Skyhawks — six time Sunset League champions — improved to 26-3, Burbank ends its season an impressive 19-12. The Bulldogs finished second in the Pacific League this season, won a record 19 games and advanced to the semifinals for the first time ever.

Summit features three players 6-feet or taller dominated Burbank down low. The Bulldogs tallest player is listed at 5-foot-10. Summit had scored as many as 88 points on the season and had held opponents to as few as eight, so the Bulldogs made a respectable showing, especially in spurts of the second and third quarters.

Senior Damarie Gonzalez, playing in her final game, scored 16 points to lead Burbank. Jamie Gonzalez and Aja Locke each had eight points.


Burbank High baseball committed eight errors in a 9-3 loss at Rio Mesa on Tuesday, February 28 — including four from shortstop Dylan Mersola and two from catcher Paul Frias who are the Bulldogs top two players.

The Bulldogs now have 14 errors in three games on the season, a large reason while they are 0-3.

Rio Mesa had nine hits, all singles, and four players with two hits apiece. It led 2-0 after the opening inning of play, however the score remained unchanged until the fifth when it broke open a close game with a four-run inning.

Burbank had just three hits, one from Frias, Mersola and pitcher Angel Villagran.

Burroughs Falls Flat

The Indians’ baseball team hasn’t found it any easier thus far this season. Burroughs lost at home to Lancaster, Tuesday, 5-1 and is 0-3 with highly-regarded Crespi looming in the fourth game of the Easton Southern California Showdown on Thursday.

Dillon Disiere threw two scoreless innings of relief and Chris Davies has a single, a walk and a stolen base and was one of the few mentionable offensive sparks for the Indians.

“Just an inexcusable loss for us, a really frustrating one,” Coach Kiel Holmes said. “Our effort has gone backwards since the opener and that is not acceptable. We clearly have a long way to go before we are ready for league play we’re just going to have to get back to work and figure it out.”

Dog Days of Winter Here?

Burbank High girls’ basketball coach Bruce Breeden might soon pull out the DVD “Hoosiers” from its place on the shelf to review what it was Gene Hackman said to his team as they defied all odds in the sports-drama classic.

In what is perhaps the best display of tournament Cinderella stories since Hackman led the Hickory Hoosiers to a state title in the film based on the true story of the 1952 Indiana high school basketball state champions, Breeden’s Bulldogs just keep on rolling in the CIF Southern Section’s Division IA playoffs.

The Bulldogs rallied to a 58-48 home win over visiting Temecula Valley Saturday night — overcoming a disastrous third quarter in which they were outscored by nine points, 16-7.

“We’ll be the underdogs the rest of the way, so we really have nothing to lose,” Breeden said. “I am just so proud of the team for the way they have come together.”

Breeden has spoken often of the coach’s cliché, how the playoffs are the start of a whole new season. His Bulldogs have taken it to heart, winning three straight en route to their first appearance in the semifinals in the program’s history.

The Bulldogs had never previously made it past the second round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs. Now, however, they will play at Summit High against the No. 1 seeded Skyhawks on Tuesday evening in the semifinals.

The Skyhawks have scored as many as 88 points in games this season and have beaten opponents by as many as 62 points.

Burbank (19-11) drew a favorably match-up in the quarterfinals against Temecula Valley — 14-16 on the season. Burbank dominated the fourth quarter, outscoring the Golden Bears 29-13.

Damarie Gonzalez scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Burbank. Sister Jamie Gonzalez scored 12 points and teammate Aja Locke added 10 points. Temecula Valley got a huge effort from Iman Lathan who scored 28 points.

Summit beat Downey on Saturday, February 25 by a score of 62-54.

Bulldogs Continue Their March in Basketball

Burbank High girls’ basketball is proving that its strong showing in the regular season was no fluke.

The Bulldogs steamrolled host Upland, 62-40, on February 22 to set the stage for a CIF Southern Section Division IA quarterfinal game against Temecula Valley on Saturday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m.

Temecula Valley (14-15 overall) upset No. 5 Diamond Bar, 57-33, creating a match-up few would have predicted when the postseason began. The Bulldogs, unofficially, will make their first quarterfinals appearance in program history Athletic Director Fred Cook calculated. Their coach, Bruce Breeden, will make his first appearance since 2001 when he coached at Crescenta Valley.

Let the dreams of an appearance in the semifinals begin after Burbank came-up with arguably its best all-around effort of the season against Upland with a large cast of players leading the way.

Aja Locke scored 15 points and hauled-in five rebounds, Damarie Gonzalez scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Courtney Seidler added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Teammate Sylvia Granados also has a solid all-around game with eight points, seven assists and four steals.

Upland countered with a game-high 21 points from Ashley Carson, but it wasn’t nearly enough to counter the team-attack of the Bulldogs, who improved to 18-11 on the season and who have now won five of their last six games.

Bulldog Girls Not Fit to be Tied

The Bulldogs’ girls’ basketball team was probably fortunate to be tied going into the half of its CIF Southern Section Division IA opener at Burbank High against Fountain Valley after a seven-of-34 shooting performance over the first two quarters.

After regrouping, they eventually went on a 25-8 run over the third quarter to take control en route to a 59-45 win. Burbank will play Upland who defeated Centennial 67-64 on Saturday. The Highlanders are 13-8 on the season.

Burbank was led Saturday by Damarie Gonzalez who scored 17 points and hauled-in seven rebounds. Sister Jamie Gonzalez had nine points and teammate Sylvia Granados had 10 points and five steals.

Burbank is 17-11 on the season and was victories in a playoff game for only the second time in the last ten seasons. Winning in the playoffs was one of Coach Bruce Breeden’s preseason goals.

“You talk about a lot of things, aim big and try to miss small,” he said. “Once you get to the playoffs anything can happen.”