Burbank Girls’ Basketball Wraps Up Tournament With Loss, Good Vibes

Bulldogs conclude La Canada High Tournament with 51-23 defeat against powerful Flintridge Prep.

Karen Casillas (white) hopes to lead the Burbank High girls' basketball team to another long playoff run. (Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

No victories were recorded by the Burbank High girls’ basketball team during the four-day La Canada High Tournament.

Still, there were several lessons learned by the Bulldogs in that stretch that might have them pointing upward once the CIF playoffs begin in February.

Burbank coach Kris Jabourian said the six-team round-robin tournament served a main purpose after Burbank suffered a 51-23 defeat against powerhouse Flintridge Prep on Thursday.

“We saw some very good teams in the tournament, including Flintridge Prep, [Sherman Oaks] Notre Dame, La Canada and Birmingham,” Jabourian said. “You see something different from these teams. They play in different divisions and we play in the same division with Flintridge Prep. We can learn from that once the playoffs start.

“You get in your [repetitions] against those teams and just try to get better. We now understand that we can play with some of these teams as long as we play 32 minutes.”

Burbank (9-8) never led against Flintridge Prep (16-1), which finished 4-0 in the tournament and is ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division III-AA behind Los Osos. Burbank is No. 15 in the division.

The Wolves received a game-high 17 points from Maddie Smith and 15 points, eight assists and three steals from Ashley Chea.

The Bulldogs finished with 25 turnovers, including 15 in the first half.

“There’s some things we can work on before we get back to league,” Jabourian said. “We’ll get in a good practice and go from there.”

Burbank, which advanced to the Division III-A quarterfinals last season, scored just two points in the first quarter. A basket by Karen Casillas, who finished with a team-high 10 points, brought Burbank to within 3-2 with 4:50 remaining in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs then went eight minutes without scoring until Lauren Navarro converted on a layup to cut the deficit to 15-4 with 4:50 to go in the second quarter.

Flintridge Prep, which has won seven games in a row, held a 26-8 halftime advantage.

“They have a good team,” said Casillas, who had seven rebounds. “You just learn how to handle the pressure and we know we’ll have to be more mentally and physically stronger.”

Burbank will return to action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against visiting Pasadena in a Pacific League game. The Bulldogs are 3-1 in league, earning wins versus Muir, Arcadia and Hoover and a loss to Crescenta Valley.

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