If anyone is going to knock Buena High out of the CIF Southern Section playoffs in girls’ basketball they have to be doing something right.
Burroughs High met that challenge Thursday night and came out successful, defeating the most victorious program in state history 41-38 in first round of the Division 2AA playoffs.
“It feels so great,” said Burroughs freshman Faith Boulanger, who had a game-high 16 points along with nine rebounds. “I’m excited because nobody expected to go this far. We heard they had a really good coach and we were like gosh this is not going to be good. But then we realized we just need to keep calm and our coach does a great job scouting out other teams so we know what to do when it comes to it.”
Burroughs (22-7) didn’t panic after Buena came out pressing defensively to start the game.
“At first we weren’t ready,” Boulanger said. “Once we got used to it and calmed down we were able to handle it really well.”
Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan praised her team for its defensive effort.
“I thought we did a good job defensively because I think they’ve been averaging in the 60s. I was worried about their offense,” Oganyan said. “I have a lot of respect for both of the coaches there. They have a great team and a good program.
Burroughs will play at JSerra High in San Juan Capistrano on Saturday in a second-round contest.
Buena coach David Guenther, who is in his 11th year as the head coach after taking the over the program from Joe Vaughn, the winningest high school girls’ coach in state history, praised Burroughs.
“They (Burroughs) were prepared. They did a great job defensively. They threw some stuff at us that the kids weren’t ready for. We have a lot of youth,” said Guenther, who ironically is now assisted by Vaughn.” They executed a game plan and bothered us. We just couldn’t get things to fall offensively. She (Oganyan) did a great job preparing them to stop us offensively. We’re used to getting some more points off of our defensive intensity and turnovers.”
Buena (13-10), which last year became the first girls’ basketball program in state history to reach 1,000 wins, gave Burroughs difficulty at first and led 14-9 at the end of the first period.
But Burroughs went on a 10-0 run in the second quarter paced by three-pointers from Ariana Farias and Jillian Kukawski.
Buena fought back to tie things at 21 on a basket by its star player, Gianna Falccochia, who led her team with 11 points.
But a basket by Kayla Wrobel with 32 seconds left in the first half broke the tie and although Buena remained close throughout the second half, it would never be on par with Burroughs again.
Martin Grote had eight points and five blocks. Wrobel finished with seven points, Farias had four and Dyani Del Castillo and Kukawski each had three points.