By Rick Assad
Neither team shot the ball especially well from the field, but two quarters proved the difference when Burroughs High hosted Burbank in a Pacific League girls’ basketball game on Thursday night before a near-capacity crowd.
The first quarter and the fourth period were game-changers as the Bears held off the late charging Bulldogs 40-33.
In those two quarters, the Bears outscored the Bulldogs 27-15 and outshot them 42.3 percent (11 of 26) to 21 percent (four of 19).
The Bears connected on 17 of 58 for 29.3 percent from the floor and the Bulldogs were successful on 21.6 percent after making eight of 37.
Burbank kept the game close after hammering 14 of 18 from the free-throw line for 77.7 percent while Burroughs drilled six of 14 for 42.8 percent.
Nine players scored for the Bears (18-10 and 12-2 in league) and five players notched points for the Bulldogs (15-13 and 9-5 in league).
Sophomore guard Mariam Fahs led all scorers with 14 points as she tallied eight in the first quarter when the Bears, who made seven of 12 from the field for 58.3 percent, bolted ahead 14-7 heading to the second period.
When Fahs scored with 5:59 remaining in the first quarter, the Bears took a 6-3 lead.
Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan was excited to see Fahs do well in such a big game.
“Mariam has really improved and is playing really well,” she said. “She was everywhere and aggressive.”
Fahs tacked on six points in the fourth period as the Bears outscored the Bulldogs 13-8 and her hoop with 6:55 left made it 30-25.
“I loved our energy and hustle on the court. I think the team chemistry helped us a lot last night. Everyone was supportive of each other the entire time and that helped our confidence,” Fahs said. “We took great shots, but they weren’t going in, but we adjusted and made up for it with our ball movement and drives.”
Senior power forward Isabella Roderick added eight points for the Bears and pulled down seven rebounds.
“I was just trying to finish my senior year on a positive note and do my thing,” Roderick said.
Because this is Roderick’s final regular-season home game, Oganyan was proud of her performance.
“Izzy did a great job rebounding and playing defense and helping out offensively,” she said. “Her presence on the court helped everyone else feel confident.”
Senior point guard Ivana Razov scored three points and added eight caroms, five steals and four assists for the Bears.
Junior guard Natalie Sanchez tossed in four points in the third quarter as Burroughs marched ahead 27-25 heading to the fourth quarter.
Burroughs made three of its last five shots to cap the frame as Sanchez scored with 4:21 left to make it 23-19.
Sophomore guard Skylar Cafferty also scored with 3:05 left for a 25-19 cushion and junior guard Karly Geris found the bucket with 2:50 on the clock for a 27-19 advantage.
Burbank senior power forward Karen Casillas contributed six of her team-best 10 points in the fourth quarter.
When Casillas nailed the second of two free-throws with 6:05 showing in the third quarter, it was even at 19-19.
“We had the game tied and just had mental errors,” Burbank coach Kris Jabourian said. “Fixable mental errors but it hurt us. Coach V threw a different look at us that we should’ve taken advantage of and unfortunately turned the ball over.”
Jabourian thinks the team will bounce back.
“I thought our effort and intensity were the best we’ve had all year,” he said. “These girls are clicking and finally understand one another. Now we just wait for our draw with most likely an away game.”
Sophomore shooting guard Rheanna Ocampo added eight points for the Bulldogs that included a three-pointer in the first and second periods.
Burbank freshman point guard Sahara Jackson accounted for six points after scoring three points in the second and third frames.
Freshman point guard Malia Harney added four points for the Bears.
“I was happy that after getting off to an early lead we were able to hold off a bunch of tough runs from Burbank,” Harney said. “They fought hard, and we really had to step up our game to keep the lead and get the win.”
Senior guard Rachel Little tacked on two points for Burroughs and freshman center Valentina Morales collected one point.
Burbank junior shooting guard Nikaela Damasen (five points) drained a three-pointer with 3:17 left in the second period that cut the lead to 17-15.
Burbank sophomore power forward Lauren Navarro contributed four points.