By Rick Assad
Reaching for the stars is fine and it’s something that the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team along with Burbank and Providence will be gunning for this season.
The Bears under Vicky Oganyan, the longtime coach, always have a deep and competitive product on the floor and this season’s edition will be no different.
Burroughs is coming off a season in which it went 22-7 and 6-1 for second place in the Pacific League.
The Bears advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division II AA playoffs after beating Flintridge Prep 73-39, but then lost to Rolling Hills Prep 62-26 in the second round.
“Hopefully this year we will get to finish our full league season as the last two years we have had a partial league season due to COVID,” Oganyan said. “League play should be tough as always and we hope to be right there with the others competing for a top three finish and a playoff spot.”
The division is going to be loaded with talented and deep squads.
“Our playoff division, II AA, doesn’t get any easier, but we are looking forward to the strong competition,” Oganyan said. “To help us prepare we have scheduled a tough preseason schedule.”
Four seniors will lead this group and they are guard Rachel Little, who stands five foot six, guard Ivana Razov (5-9), power forward Isabella Roderick (5-11) and guard Kylie Indefenzo (5-9).
Three juniors are on the team and include guard Karly Geris (5-6), forward Natalie Sanchez (5-7) and forward Mia Paz (5-8).
There are three sophomores on the squad, and they are guard Skylar Cafferty (5-3), guard Mariam Fahs (5-7) and guard Ashley Martin (5-6).
The rest of the team is composed of four freshmen, and they are guard Elizabeth Amoroso (5-7), guard Malia Harney (5-4), guard Grace Barton (5-4) and center Valentina Morales (5-11).
The Bulldogs are coached by Kris Jabourian, who played at Crescenta Valley from 2009 through 2013, and should have another good season after posting a 14-8 mark and 5-2 for third in the league a season ago.
Burbank delivered two wins in the Division III A playoffs but fell to Shadow Hills 47-31 in the quarterfinals.
The Bulldogs knocked off Foothill Tech 39-25 in the opening round and Rowland 48-37 in the second round.
“This season is going to be a very exciting season. We’ve worked hard and continue to work hard day in and day out,” Jabourian said. “League will be tough. The Pacific League is always a battle. If we stick to how we play basketball, we should have a successful season.”
Burbank will be led by senior small forward Karen Casillas (5-10) and senior small forward Shelby Cribbs (5-9).
“Karen Casillas is one of the most talented individuals I have coached in nine years,” Jabourian said. “Karen is driven. She has her eyes on the prize with basketball and wants to continue at the next level.”
There are two more seniors on the team, and they are point guard/shooting guard Heghine Grigoryan (5-4) and shooting guard Rheanna Ocampo (5-5).
Two juniors on the squad and they include shooting guard April DiFranco (5-6) and point guard Nikaela Damasen (5-4).
There are four sophomores and they are center Lauren Navarro (5-10), small forward/power forward Ava Casey (5-10), small forward Alex Richins (5-7), point guard/shooting guard Leandra Nazarian (5-7) and shooting guard Emily Galoustian (5-6).
There is one freshman on the team and she is point guard Sahara Jackson (5-5).
Providence had a fine season a year ago after finishing 18-7 and 10-1 for first in the Prep League.
The Pioneers fell in the first round of the Division III AA playoffs to La Canada 44-41.
According to the high school sports website maxpreps.com, there are 28 players on the team that is being coached by Kristineh Zadourian, who is in her third season at the helm.
They are Audrey Sayoc, Sophie Nazarian, Katelyn Alvarado, Justine Nunez, Haley Laca, Sydney Sayoc, Ava Hood-Howard, Natalie Haroutounian, Genesis Molina, Ariel Gordillo, Keara Garcia, Jyah LoVett and Dolce Prieto.
Also on the squad are Ava Tubbs, Hayden McGuan, Maribel Matar, Katie Karroum, Nicole Kadi, Andrea Ferrer, Zoe Tsao, Bridget Crenshaw, Ariana Najarian and Mowdi Kakadia.
The rest of the team includes Natalie Manoukian, Sophie Kevorkian, Sylvia Demirjian, Emily Avila and Lia Krumian.