By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor
Capping off a brilliant regular season and an even more impressive three-year run as Pacific League champions, the Burroughs girls basketball team is ready for the ultimate challenge. After dismantling Burbank, 50-36, Thursday night on the Bulldogs’ home court, the Lady Indians will begin their quest for a first ever CIF title beginning next week.
“This group of girls is very focused. They know that they don’t want this to be the highlight,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “They love playing with each other and they want to keep the season going. They are ready for the playoffs.”
Burroughs (27-2, 14-0) now awaits its playoff fate that will be determined on Sunday afternoon at the CIF Southern Section office in Cerritos. The Indians are expected to be the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in Division IA.
“I don’t think the seeding really matters. We are just excited to be playing well going into the playoffs,” said Oganyan. “Our division is pretty tough so it doesn’t matter what our number is. You still have to bring your game every day. But we are definitely excited to see what we can do.”
The Lady Indians won their school record 27th game and 23rd in a row by doing what they do best. They pounced on the Bulldogs right from the start with a stifling 2-2-1 full court press that forced 26 turnovers in the game.
Burroughs led 15-4 after the first quarter, 26-11 at the half, 39-19 after three periods and cruised to a second consecutive undefeated league campaign. In other words, 28 straight league victories with their last loss on February 7, 2013….two years ago.
“If you told me that was going to happen, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Oganyan said. “There are a lot of good teams in the league so for us to go undefeated for two straight years says a lot about our kids for their preparation, time and commitment they put in. The only way you can go undefeated is if you are putting in all these hours.”
Projected league MVP Davina Del Castillo was unstoppable in her final rivalry game as she scored 17 points and added six steals, five rebounds and five assists to her game day resume. Del Castillo had three steals that led to three layups as she scored eight points in a two minute span of the first quarter to give JBHS a commanding 15-2 lead with less than a minute to play.
The Lady Indians’ defense dominated the first half limiting Burbank (17-11, 8-6) to only three field goals total including just one field goal and four free throws in the second quarter alone.
“We came out with all our effort at the beginning and we kept it going all the way through,” Del Castillo said.
Brooke Radcliff played perhaps her best game of the season with 11 points, seven rebounds and seven steals for the Lady Indians. Sienna Brown added eight points, six rebounds and four steals. Delaney Nicol provided her reliable tough defense on Burbank star Yazzy Sa’Dullah while managing a well-oiled machine on offense.
Sa’Dullah scored 19 points to lead Burbank but made only two field goals on the evening due in large part to Nicol’s aggressive defensive style.
Burbank earned the Pacific League’s fourth place entry and will be on the road for its first round CIF contest.
As for Burroughs, the journey of six special seniors will hopefully extend for another three weeks.
“We are really prepared for playoffs. Our chemistry as a team is really close so we don’t want to lose,” Del Castillo said. “We know there will be hard games but we will be ready.”