By Rick Assad
These three games in the West Coast Holiday Tournament haven’t been especially kind to the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team.
Struggling to get their shots off and build a consistent offense, the Bears were on the short end of a 69-30 score on Thursday afternoon as Hart led from the opening center jump.
The Indians were coming off a 57-43 setback against powerful Leuzinger and were set to pounce at every opportunity.
The Bears, who converted 11 of 41 from the field for 26.8 percent, committed 14 turnovers across the first 16 minutes and handed the ball over 11 times in the second half.
Burroughs lost to Leuzinger 69-40 on Monday and fell to Camarillo 65-39 on Tuesday.
Paced by senior guard Laney Grider’s game-high 18 points and sophomore guard Morgan Mack’s 14 points, Hart took a 20-5 advantage in the first quarter.
The Indians outscored the Bears 25-7 in the second quarter for a 45-15 halftime lead after making 13 of 26 shots from the floor for 50 percent.
Grider nailed a three-pointer in the first period and added six points in the second frame.
Mack delivered two points in the initial period and tacked on eight points in the second quarter.
If there was a bright spot for the Bears (9-7), it was freshman center Valentina Morales pulling down 11 rebounds and scoring a team-high six points.
“I felt like in all the games there were stretches where we competed really well and did some good things,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said of the three games. “Playing top competition like this can only help us moving forward.”
Burroughs shot 27.7 percent from the field on five of 18 in the opening half and made six of 23 for 26 percent in the second half.
Senior center Vanessa Zavala chimed in with 11 points for the Indians with nine of the points coming in the opening quarter.
Grider’s nine points in the third quarter was more than sufficient as the Indians, who shot 40 percent from the floor on 22 of 55, totaled 16 points in the eight minutes.
Hart connected on 10 shots from three-point range with Grider hitting two and Mack adding a pair. Burroughs dropped in four three-pointers.
That same frame was the Bears’ biggest offensive output as they poured in 12 points with freshman guard Anna Philips tossing in all of her four points.
Burroughs freshman guard Malia Harney nailed a three-pointer in the third quarter as did freshman guard Elizabeth Amoroso.
Jerry Mike, the Hart coach who also coached Oganyan at Glendale High, emptied his bench in the fourth period.
The Indians (14-2) tallied eight points but still outscored the Bears who scored three points with senior guard Kalee Indefenzo tallying two points and junior forward Mia Paz adding a free throw.
Hart wasn’t as efficient in the second half after hitting nine of 29 from the floor for 31 percent.
Senior forward Isabella Roderick had four points for the Bears and senior guard freshman guard Rachel Little contributed a three-pointer as did freshman guard Grace Barton. Junior guard Natalie Sanchez added one point.
“After the first half we were focused on getting better ball movement and finding more open shots,” Little said. “We realized that taking forced shots would just lead the other team having another possession and that doesn’t help us win.”
Sophomore guard Mariam Fahs didn’t score but played solid defense.
“We knew there was going to be tough competition this week. I think it showed what we struggle with as a team,” she said. “A big problem for us is not practicing hard so when we go up against teams like this, we’re unprepared.’
Fahs added: “Offensively we did a good job moving the ball around despite the pressure, but we struggled a lot with our defensive positioning and allowed too many drives to the basket,” she said. “But we learned from these games and what we can do now is get better, have productive practices and hopefully play our best in these upcoming games.”
The Indians were excellent at the free-throw line as they made 15 of 19 for 78.9 percent while the Bears drilled four of 12 for 33.3 percent.