By Rick Assad
Fans weren’t allowed into Friday night’s Pacific League girls’ basketball game between host Burroughs High and Burbank because of COVID-19 protocols.
Had they been inside the quiet gymnasium, they would have been treated to a dandy and one that they would have remembered for a long time.
Starting slowly, but then finding their footing in the second quarter, the Bears made another big splash in the fourth quarter to pull away from the much-improved Bulldogs 54-43 behind 21 points and six rebounds from Noor Fahs.
Fahs showed off her long-range shooting ability as the senior small forward canned a pair of three-pointers and scored nine points in the fourth quarter.
When Fahs hit a three-pointer with 4:54 left in the second quarter, it cut Burbank’s advantage to 18-15 and a Fahs’ bucket with 3:51 remaining on the ticker in the same frame, Burroughs forged ahead 19-18.
For Burbank, senior center Tabitha Cruz was spectacular, also dropping in 21 points.
Cruz had a splendid second quarter and then added a colossal fourth period as she also tallied nine points, but it wasn’t enough.
“We did a better job in the second half defensively, limiting their post play and making it more difficult for them to score,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said.
On the evening, the Bears hammered in seven three-pointers compared to three for the Bulldogs.
Both teams played terrific defense, but it was the Bears’ man-to-man defense that played exceptional in the second half.
The Bulldogs (8-7 and 3-2 in league) came out and seized control 11-6 in the opening frame as junior power forward Karen Casillas scored seven of her 11 points.
Fahs then went to work in the second period, hitting a trey and tallying eight as the team accounted for 18 points.
Burroughs (15-4 and 4-1 in league) held Burbank to 11 points in the second quarter as Cruz scored eight points.
At the intermission, the Bears made 10 of 26 from the field for 38.4 percent and the Bulldogs hit 36 percent on nine of 25.
A key statistic in the first 16 minutes was that Burroughs, which led 24-22 at the half, converted three from three-point range while Burbank made only one, that from senior shooting guard Christina Ohanians for her only points that made it 18-12 in favor of the Bulldogs with 3:40 left in the second period.
“We played lackadaisical after being up 11-6 in the first quarter,” Burbank coach Kris Jabourian said.
Junior shooting guard Kylie Indefenzo scored a personal-best 15 points and made two of her four treys at the break for the Bears.
The third quarter saw Burroughs score 11 points with Indefenzo, who also grabbed four boards, hitting a pair of three-pointers.
Burbank had its poorest frame in the third tallying just eight points as senior shooting guard Emily Megerdichian had two from three-point range and finished with six points.
Megerdichian’s three-pointer with 3:29 on the clock in the third period saw the Bulldogs race ahead 30-29.
Five players scored for Burroughs in the fourth period and beside nine points from Fahs, junior power forward Izzy Roderick scored six of her 10 and also grabbed 12 rebounds with five blocks and three assists.
Junior point guard Rachel Little added three points on a three-pointer for Burroughs, which converted 37.2 percent on 19 of 51 and nine of 18 for 50 percent from the charity line.
Meanwhile, senior guard Hailey Dowthwaite and sophomore small forward Ashley Martin each added two points and junior point guard Ivana Razov contributed one point but dished out six assists.
Senior shooting guard Alle Tarvirdi had two points for Burbank, which made 16 of 51 from the floor for 31.3 percent and hit five of nine for 55.5 percent from the free-throw line.