By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor
For the second time in as many years, the Burroughs High girls basketball team is Pacific League champions. The gutty Lady Indians keep finding ways to win so it was only fitting that Burroughs pulled out a 51-49 victory against Arcadia in another dramatic finish.
Jakarra Waddell knocked down a nine-foot jump shot with 10 seconds left to clinch the victory and league championship on the road against the Apaches.
With its win against Muir on Tuesday, Burroughs improved to 21-6 overall and 13-0 in league. They have won 14 consecutive games and are 16-1 in their last 17 contests.
Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan shared her feelings on the program’s third league title in four years.
“It is a huge accomplishment to win league in back-to-back years and three out of the last four years after having only one title in 1979,” she said. “I am very proud of the girls for the type of hard work, commitment, discipline, and sacrifices they make year-round to make our program successful and represent our school.”
A year ago, Burroughs finished the season 23-5 and 12-2 in league and co-champions with Arcadia. This year they are outright league champions as they were in 2011 when JBHS went 13-1 in league and 25-5 overall.
Now they are striving for perfection in the Pacific League and advancing deep into the CIF playoffs.
The Indians’ ability to come back at any given moment and refuse to lose attitude have produced several exciting finishes.
Against Crescenta Valley last week, the Indians’ Sidney Ortega hit a 3-pointer from the right baseline corner as time was expiring to give Burroughs a huge 49-46 win at CV.
Another clutch performance included Paula Galicia coming off the bench with her buzzer-beating 3-pointer in a 56-53 overtime win versus Glendale.
Sienna Brown’s rebound and put back in the Burbank game with seconds remaining proved to the difference in the 36-35 victory on the road against their cross-town rivals.
“Our teams motto this year has been “Tough Enough!” Our identity has been to work hard, compete, be aggressive, and fight together until the end. All season long I think we have done that in every game,” Oganyan said. “Early on in the season we lost some close games but fought in every single one. I think it paid off in league as we faced same types of situations but this time we knew how to win them.
“I love this team for spilling their guts out for our program and for our school and having such great team chemistry. They never quit no matter what the score is and what type of adversity they are faced with. It makes me proud because I know they will be winners in life. It is very rewarding to work with the girls and go through the tough times and growing pains together and see them develop and get better and see them be successful. There isn’t a better feeling in the world.”
It has been a total team effort by the Indians this season. No one on the team averages more than nine points per game. Everyone has contributed and each game a new player steps up with a significant game-changing play.
Paula Galicia, Sidney Ortega and Jakarra Waddell each have had strong senior seasons while the play of juniors Davina Del Castillo and Delaney Nicol and sophomore Brooke Radcliff has been sensational.
Together the Indians march on as one unit.
“It has been just a pleasure coaching this group of girls and they are the highlight of my day each and every day,” Oganyan said proudly. “They share my passion for basketball and have a great work ethic that is fun to coach. They want to learn, they want to get better, and they want to work on their game. For a coach it doesn’t get any better than that.”