By Rick Assad
In one of its best all-around games in this extremely unusual season, the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team came out ready and prepared from the opening jump versus rival and host Burbank.
The Bears outscored the Bulldogs in three of the fourth quarters and cruised to a 53-25 Pacific League triumph on Thursday night.
Kayla Wrobel and Dyani Del Castillo combined to score 30 points with Wrobel leading the charge for the Bears with 19 points.
“We came out ready to play like we always do, especially against Burbank,” said Wrobel, a senior power forward, who added eight rebounds and three assists. “This was a great team win and it will give us some confidence going into the playoffs.”
There is one small matter Wrobel hopes the team will iron out before the postseason.
“Our energy wasn’t the best, but it gives us room to improve for next week and the [CIF Southern Section] playoffs,” she said.
Beside Del Castillo’s 11 points, the senior point guard added five caroms and four steals.
Senior power forward/center Faith Boulanger tossed in five points, but grabbed eight boards and had eight steals with five assists.
Longtime Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan liked what she saw, especially from her three seniors and would like to see it continue.
“Dyani, Kayla and Faith led the way,” she noted. “Our defense helped set the tone for the game. Offensively, we did a good job sharing the ball and crashing the glass.”
Burroughs will wrap up the regular season in a non-league match versus Rolling Hills Prep on Saturday at noon.
The Bears (11-7 in all games and 6-1 and second place in league) collected 47 rebounds while the Bulldogs, who converted five of 41 from the floor for 12.1 percent, grabbed 26.
The Bulldogs (5-7 and 1-6 for seventh place in league) were led by senior small forward Erika Montoya and junior small forward Emily Megerdichian with each tallying seven points.
“We never got going tonight,” Burbank coach Jett Del Mundo said. “To me, it’s about mental toughness. It’s about playing every opponent to the best of our abilities and not playing the games solely in our heads.”
Del Mundo continued: “If we can play tough against teams we don’t see every year, it tells me as a coach that we have to get out of our own way,” he explained.
The Bulldogs still have an outside shot to reach the playoffs. “We need two more wins to qualify,” Del Mundo said. “I haven’t given up hope yet. We’ll see after this Saturday.”
Burbank will cap its regular season with a non-league contest at San Marino and a tip-off at 3 p.m.
Burroughs made 21 of 46 shots from the field (45.6 percent) and led 16-5 heading to the second quarter as Wrobel dropped in six points as did Del Castillo, who canned two of her three-pointers.
“I think the game was good. I feel like my teammates and I were a little fatigued due to the tough matches we were faced with prior, but we did what we had to do to come out on top,” Del Castillo said.
Del Castillo added: “We played as a unit and I really feel like every one of us is complimenting one another really well on the court,” she said. “We’re creating plays for each other and working together on defense. I’m excited to do some damage in the playoffs with this team. I know we can do it.”
Sophomore guard Ivana Razov (four points) scored a bucket with 24 seconds left in the frame that gave the Bears an 11-point edge.
A 15-point effort followed in the second frame for Burroughs as Boulanger scored all of her points that included a trey, while limiting Burbank to eight points.
Wrobel’s second basket of the second quarter made it 26-12 as 3:12 remained.
The third quarter saw Wrobel tack on nine points as the Bears pulled ahead 45-17.
When Wrobel scored with 5:20 left on the clock, the Bears dashed in front 37-15.
Razov’s hoop with 1:10 showing in the same frame extended Burroughs’ advantage to 42-17 and would lead 45-17 heading to the fourth period.
Burbank’s best frame was the fourth when it scored eight points and played even with Burroughs.
Sophomore forward Isabella Roderick chimed in with five points for the Bears and contributed eight rebounds and three assists.
Senior center Sydney Martin contributed four points for Burroughs, while junior guard Noor Fahs and sophomore guard Rachel Little each added two points and senior guard Lauren Lucas contributed one point.
Burbank junior center Tabitha Cruz accounted for five points and junior guard Alle Tarvirdi added four points and freshman guard Nikaela Damasen scored two points.