By Rick Assad
From the opening tip until the final buzzer, the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team laid a heavy dose of defensive intensity on West Ranch.
This blanket defense helped the Bears throttle the visiting Wildcats 44-33 in a nonleague match on Tuesday evening.
So solid and effective was the Bears’ defense that West Ranch was limited to single digits in two of the four quarters as the Wildcats combined to make two of 15 shots from the field for 13.3 percent.
For the game, West Ranch shot 26.4 percent (nine of 34), but did connect on 12 of 18 from the free-throw line (66.6 percent), while Burroughs went to the foul stripe just six times and made four.
“We are getting better defensively. But we still need to continue improving,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “But I thought we played hard and did some good things out there. We did a good job of being in the right positions more often which helped us get stops.”
Oganyan then addressed the offense. “Offensively we were unselfish and got the ball moving,” she pointed out.
Oganyan spotlighted junior Izzy Roderick, junior Ivana Razov and senior small forward Noor Fahs.
“Izzy created a lot of opportunities for others to score and Noor was aggressive all night, while Ivana did a nice job of handling the pressure and getting us good looks,” she said.
Fahs, who connected on three from three-point range, was the game’s leading scorer with 19 points.
Sophomore point guard Karly Geris added eight points for Burroughs, which shot 32.7 percent (18 of 55) and junior shooting guard Rachel Little tacked on five points.
When Little hit a three-pointer with 2:35 remaining on the clock in the second quarter, the Bears extended their lead to 21-15 over the Wildcats.
“Rachel plays super hard and does well,” said Oganyan of Little, who is also the catcher on the varsity softball team.
Fahs came out and canned a pair of treys and knocked in eight points in the initial frame as the Bears (2-0) jumped out to a 14-5 advantage.
The Wildcats (0-1) tallied 12 points in the second period as junior center Nadia Bernard scored six of her team-best 10 points, while Burroughs was held to nine points.
Elora Kawasawa also played well for the Wildcats as the small forward tallied nine points with seven points being scored in the first half.
Kawasawa’s hoop with 3:27 left in the second period trimmed Burroughs’ advantage to 18-15 as the Bears asked for time out.
The Bears outscored the Wildcats 11-4 in the third period as Fahs dropped in five points and Geris added four points.
A trey by Fahs with 2:55 left in the third period saw the Bears move in front 28-21.
West Ranch rallied a bit in the fourth frame as the Wildcats scored 12 points with Samantha Bernal (six points) and sophomore point guard Aubrey Molina (six points) each accounting for four points.
Pacing Burroughs in the fourth frame were Fahs with four and sophomore small forward Ashley Martin with four of her six points.
Roderick accounted for four points and junior Kylie Indefenzo added two for the Bears.
Burroughs picked up 37 rebounds, including 21 in the second half, while West Ranch collected 25 boards with 14 coming in the opening half.