By Rick Assad
When Burroughs High faced Arcadia the first time on January 10 in a Pacific League girls’ basketball match, the Bears came up six points short and wanted to avoid the same result on Tuesday night.
After a close first half, host Burroughs took a slim six-point lead heading to the fourth quarter and held on for a 50-44 victory.
The Bears will host rival Burbank on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. with a modest two-game winning streak after Pasadena forfeited its game last Friday.
Led by power forward Isabella Roderick’s team-best 12 points and 11 rebounds, the senior showed the way during a second-half charge after pouring in 10 points, including eight points in the third quarter when Burroughs, which committed 24 turnovers including 15 in the first half, went ahead 34-28.
“Yeah, both teams were physical the whole game. I liked how we handled the pressure and played through the contact,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “We were able to take care of the ball better in the second half and made some nice offensive plays. Our defense was very intense, and our kids played hard.”
The Bears (17-10 and 11-2 in league) trailed early in the first quarter, but then rallied and moved in front 13-11 heading to the second period.
In that first stanza, the Bears made two of their six three-pointers as senior guard Rachel Little and sophomore point guard Malia Harney converted one each.
In a low-scoring second quarter by each team, the Bears (19 of 48 for 39.5 percent) led 21-18 at the half behind four points from senior guard Kayla Indefenzo.
“The game was important for us after losing to them in the first round of the league and I’m really happy we were able to do our jobs and get the win,” Little said.
Harney (seven points) admitted liking to take three-pointers and knows there are others who are capable of making the long shots.
“We have some great three-point shooters and it gives us flexibility offensively because if one of us is having an off-night, there’s usually someone else hitting,” Harney said. “Tonight Grace [Barton] and Skylar [Cafferty] came in and hit some important threes that made a difference late in the game.”
Arcadia sophomore point guard/small forward Shirley Freeman paced the Apaches (26.9 percent on 17 of 63) with eight of her game-high 14 points at intermission.
Freeman’s hoop with 3:50 left in the first quarter saw Arcadia shift ahead 9-5.
Roderick went to work in the third period as she scored eight points that included a three-pointer as did the freshman guard Barton (six points), who also canned a trey in the fourth period with 7:20 left for a 37-28 lead.
“When we played Arcadia on the road I was in foul trouble, so coming into this game I tried to watch my fouls,” said Roderick, who added four steals and four assists. “I feel like I had a good overall game, and I did my job. The last game we struggled in rebounding and passing and this game I feel like we got more rebounds and cut down the turnovers which was good. Glad to get the dub (win) as the season’s winding down.”
Roderick’s three-pointer with 5:52 left in the third quarter handed Burroughs a 26-18 advantage.
When Roderick scored and converted a free throw with 4:18 left in the same period, the Bears dashed in front 29-20.
Senior guard Mel Manell kept the match fairly close by scoring six of her 11 points in the third quarter for the Apaches (13-10 and 8-5 in league).
Each team tallied 16 points in the fourth period as junior guard Karla Geris knocked in four of her seven points.
Sophomore guard Cafferty added a three-pointer for her only points with 6:40 left in the fourth period for a 40-28 cushion.
When Geris scored with 35 seconds remaining in the first period, the Bears leaped in front 12-9.
Freeman tallied six points and Manell tossed in five points for the Apaches in the fourth period.
Senior point guard Ivana Razov finished with eight boards and three assists for the Bears.
Sophomore guard Mariam Fahs scored four points for the Bears and junior forward Ashley Martin accounted for two points in the second period.
Freshman center Valentina Morales added two points in the first period.
The Bears were successful on six of 14 from the free-throw line for 42.8 percent and the Apaches made nine of 17 for 52.9 percent.
“I liked our energy and hustle today. Despite the tough pressure we had to play against and some bad fouling decisions, we pulled it off,” Fahs said. “We had great ball movement and we were playing as a team.”