Burroughs Girls Hoops Upends Trinity Classical Academy 46-29

The Bears will play Shalhevet in the championship game of the West Coast Holiday Tournament on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The Bears handled the Knights 46-29 in a West Coast Holiday Tournament semifinal on Friday. (Photo by Rick Assad)

By Rick Assad

It’s not always easy to be the host of a five-day tourney because the pressure is really cranked up.

Still, the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team withstood the added pressure after winning two of three games, including Friday’s 46-29 victory over Trinity Classical Academy in the White Division semifinal of the West Coast Holiday Tournament.

The Bears, who came up with 22 steals, had a bye on the opening day, but suffered a 47-36 setback to Notre Dame on Wednesday, then recovered and bounced back and routed Santa Monica 49-16 on Thursday before winning by 17 points the next day.

Burroughs (14-2) will play Shalhevet (13-4) in the White Division championship matchup on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Burroughs saw six players score including junior guard Mariam Fahs, who poured in a game-high 14 points while sophomore guard Elizabeth Amoroso chimed in with 11 points as nine came on three from three-point range.

Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan was pleased with how the Bears have played.

“I liked the way we are sharing the ball on offense and finding the best possible shot,” she said. “I also liked our defensive energy and our players are starting to do some of the things they have been working on in a game-like situation.”

Trinity Classical Academy (12-3) was led on offense by senior Iris Weber, who tallied 10 points.

Burroughs played stout defense against Trinity Classical Academy and came up with 22 steals that led to many points. (Photo by Rick Assad)

Senior Emma Schaaf and junior Gianna Duarte each accounted for six points for the Knights, who shot 32.2 percent after making 10 of 31, but were limited to three points in the second and fourth periods.

The Bears found the range on 19 of 55 for 34.5 percent but nailed nine of 23 (39.1 percent) in the second half as they outscored the Knights 23-14.

It was a close contest after the initial quarter, with Burroughs ahead 14-12.

Sophomore center Valentina Morales scored six points for the Bears, all from close range including a hoop with 4:15 left in the first period for a 10-4 lead, while Fahs nailed a three-pointer and a bucket for five points.

“We played great because of our defense and selflessness on offense,” Fahs said. “We shared the ball so much and got great shots off of that.”

Fahs recounted how the defense changed the momentum of the game.

“Our defense led to 22 steals which greatly impacted the game and boosted us,” she noted. “Our energy on and off the court was also motivating and we all played hard.”

On the strength of six points from Schaaf, who drilled a pair of treys and four points from Duarte, Trinity Classical Academy kept it close heading to the second quarter after making four of four shot attempts.

Swarming defense by the Bears caused numerous turnovers, as the Knights couldn’t find the hoop in the second frame as they made one of nine (11 percent) and just one of four (25 percent) from the free-throw line en route to making five of 12 (41.6 percent) at the charity line.

In that same period, Burroughs dropped four of 13 (30.7 percent) from the field with Fahs tallying four points and Amoroso hitting the second of her three from three-point range and led 23-15 at halftime.

The Bears have won two of three games in the West Coast Holiday Tournament and will play in the championship game on Saturday. (Photo by Rick Assad)

Like the first period, the third quarter was competitive as Burroughs, who nailed three of seven free throws (42.8 percent), scored 13 points on six of 12 (50 percent) from the field while Trinity Classical Academy totaled 11 points after making five of 14 (35.7 percent).

Fahs accounted for five points in the third quarter and senior guard Ashley Martin scored four of her six points, while Weber dropped in three baskets for six points.

The defensive heat was still on in the fourth quarter as Trinity Classical Academy managed just four shots which it missed each time and the three points came at the free-throw line by Weber.

Burroughs was slightly better from the field after converting three of 11 (27.2 percent) and three of four (75 percent) at the free-throw line.

Amoroso tallied five points in the final frame and freshman guard Claire Hackney, who scored a bucket with 2:45 remaining in the third period for a 36-17 advantage, scored four of her six points and freshman guard Jessica Mena tossed in one point.

The Bears converted five from three-point range and the Knights made four three-pointers.