By Rick Assad
Out of the gate the Burbank High girls’ basketball team scored three straight hoops versus visiting Crescenta Valley but then were outscored 38-3 during the rest of the first half and eventually lost 57-40 in a Pacific League encounter on Thursday night.
Senior forward Karen Casillas, usually stellar as a point-producer, had four points and fouled out for the Bulldogs.
Casillas, who was double and triple teamed for much of the game, did the other things needed like rebound, play defense and help out when the Falcons went to their trap defense.
“I didn’t contribute a lot on offense which is difficult for me to say,” she said. “It was tough at times and frustrating but there’s more basketball to be played.’ Don’t count us out yet.”
Freshman point guard Sahara Jackson scored a game-best 21 points for the Bulldogs, who made 10 of 36 shots from the field for 27.7 percent.
Jackson is an excellent ball-handler with lots of speed and also converted 12 free throws.
Senior forward Victoria Prochazka led the way for the Falcons (15-4 and 5-1 in league) with 14 points and junior guard Lulu Arzoumanian added 11 points.
Senior shooting guard Rheanna Ocampo delivered five points for Burbank and all of the points came in the second half.
Junior guard Lylie Ray is the Falcons’ leading scorer with a 16.9 points per game average and was held to four points.
Ray’s grandfather is Jim Harrick, the former UCLA head basketball coach who led the Bruins to the NCAA championship in 1995.
The Bulldogs (9-9 and 4-2 in league) played much better in the second half as they outscored the Falcons 31-19 across the final 16 minutes.
During that time, Burbank made 14 of 17 shots from the free-throw line for 82.3 percent and 17 of 26 for 65.3 percent for the game.
Crescenta Valley, which made 19 of 46 from the floor for 41.3 percent, took a 20-8 lead in the first period as Prochazka had seven points that included the first of her two three-pointers.
In that same frame, Arzoumanian chipped in with four points and also had the first of two from three-point range.
Burbank went cold from the floor in the second quarter after missing all four shots. The only point was Jackson’s charity toss.
“Yes, we had a dry spell in the second quarter,” Casillas said. “CV is a good team. They’re well coached and knew how to guard us.”
Burbank coach Kris Jabourian gave credit to the Falcons.
“CV is well coached. Coach [Michael] Flot is a great coach and knows how to scout a team,” he said.
Jabourian also praised Casillas despite her low point production.
“Karen made a difference in the game, just not offensively. A great player like her doesn’t need to score 20 points a game,” he said. “She will do the dirty work as well like setting hard screens, rebounding and talking on defense.”
On the night, the Falcons converted seven three-pointers while the Bulldogs made three from long range.
The Falcons, who led 38-9 at the half, scored 18 points in the second period with Arzoumanian tallying five points that included a trey.
Senior guard Melissa Dayag added five of her seven points in the same period for Crescenta Valley, which sank 12 of 21 from the charity line for 57.1 percent.
Burbank doubled the score on Crescenta Valley in the third frame and cut the lead to 45-23 entering the fourth quarter.
When sophomore point guard Alexandra Richins scored with 4:06 left in the third quarter for the Bulldogs, Crescenta Valley’s lead was trimmed to 41-21 as the Falcons asked for time out.
Jackson dropped six points in the third period while Prochazka nailed a three-pointer in the same frame.
Burbank’s best and most productive quarter was the fourth as the Bulldogs scored 17 points with Jackson tallying 10 points.
Senior forward Charlotte Foster scored on a three-pointer in the fourth period for the Falcons.
Senior power forward Shelby Cribbs scored four points, all in the fourth quarter for the Bulldogs and sophomore power forward Lauren Navarro contributed four points.