Tag Archives: Basketball

Sports Shorts: Final Exams Followed by Tourney Time

Little Action This Week With BHS and JBHS in Finals Exam Week

As busy as all the winter sports are over their schools’ upcoming winter breaks, much credit goes out to the local coaches and schools for arranging a light work week for their student-athletes this week as students sit for final exams. Here is a short recap of some of the happenings in the winter season thus far as well as a glimpse of what is ahead.

Soccer Update

Jonathan Trujillo scored two goals to pace Burbank High past Simi Valley in a nonleague match at Burbank. The Bulldogs are restricted to only two nonleague matches this season due to CIF sanctions stemming from last season so every minute of play counts for the squad and new coach Loi Phan.

The two teams played a scoreless first half. Ramon Cortez also scored for the Bulldogs (1-1).

Meanwhile, Burroughs soccer coach Mike Kodama, back on the sidelines after a two year layoff, is 0-1-1 thus far with his young Indians. Burroughs opened the month with a 0-0 tie against La Canada, but have since lost two straight. They open in the Valley Kick-off Classic on December 17.

Tourney Updates

Burbank High girls’ water polo team notched its three victories in pool play of its own tournament by beating Notre Dame (SO) 9-4 in Pool B on December 9. Burbank is 6-2.

Burroughs boys’ basketball is now 3-1 on the season after falling to Maranatha 74-66 in the championship game of the Poly Tournament. Ironically, the Indians’ girls’ basketball team opens against Poly in the Burroughs tournament on December 15. BurbanknBeyond.com plans to keep-up witt the bracket Deember 15-20.

Burbank High boys’ basketball tips-off the San Fernando Invitational on December 16 versus Knight/

Burroughs girls’ soccer, who hasn’t played since November 29, will open their tournament at Luther Burbank Middle School on December 16. Burbank girls’ soccer is 2-1 on the young season after falling to La Canada on December 13.

Team Effort Paces Burroughs Basketball Team

If anyone deserves some early season success, it is the Indians and head coach Adam Hochberg.

A long time assistant coach and head junior varsity coach at Burroughs, Hochberg had waited for an opportunity to be a varsity coach. When the time came a few years ago, he inherited a team that lacked experience or talent in a Pacific League that had plenty of it.

This season, things are different as collectively his team has both the experience and talent to compete. Humbled, happier and hungry after a three win season a year ago, the Burroughs High boys’ basketball team is taking a 2-0 start in stride, but the only sleepless nights these days for Hochberg are the nights his two-month old, Brevin, decides to wake him up before the alarm sounds.

“I’ve been up since 2:30 a.m today,” he says on the drive home from a win Thursday, December 8. “But that’s okay, we got a ‘W’ and we are off to a good start so all is good.”

The Tribe moved to 2-0 by blasting tournament host, Pasadena Poly, 64-35. Alex Duran, a transfer from Alemany High, led the way with 16 points while Austyn Thompson added 14 and Pedro Gonzales III added 12.

In a win over Rosemead to open the tournament Gonzales had 16 points and was one of four players in double-digits as the Indians started pool-play with a win in the Poly Tournament on December 6. The balanced scoring is something fans can expect a lot of from Burroughs this season.

“We might not have a superstar, but I like our depth 1-10 and we have a lot of experience and talent compared to the last few years,” Hochberg said.

Right now, the Indians are without their top two players, Jorge Flores-Pere is slowed by a hamstring injury and Zeke Zuniga is also out for the next three weeks with an injury.

The silver lining is the experience others are getting in their absence and the new depth that allows Burroughs to overcome the injuries. Gonzales, for example, has excelled in two starts but will return to the bench as the star sixth man when the Indians are at full strength.

“And he is fine, even excited about that,” says Hochberg. “He has been with me from the start, he has the same (win-loss) record that I do, and he is such a leader in that role. He reminds the guys about what they need to do all the time, he has been awesome.”

Burroughs will play Selding (New Zealand) in pool play, and with a victory would play in the tournament championship at 4:00 on Saturday. The San Fernando Valley Tournament follows as Hochberg tries to keep his team focused through an upcoming winter break from school.

“I think both tournaments are good opportunities for us, for different reasons,” he said. “We’ve just got to stay focused and stay hungry.”

Spitting Images: Burbank High Expects Both Squads to be Competitive After Similar 2010-2011 Showings

Both Bulldogs’ basketball programs had similar seasons a year ago. Both finished with enough wins in the regular season to earn at-large berths into the CIF Southern Section playoffs and both lost in the first round.

Both programs also have similar expectations for the upcoming season as they both expect to be competitive in the Pacific League and both coaches stating they expect Muir and Pasadena to be the front runners in the league race again this year. Here is a look at the way both squads breakdown.


Misfortune like the injury bug plagued the Bulldogs during the regular season a year ago, then good fortune allowed them to qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs by winning a coin flip to break a 4th place tie in the Pacific League.

Burbank (13-14 a year ago) returns an experienced group this year under coach Bruce Breeden. Senior guard Sylvia Granados and forward Jamie Gonzalez are two players he will lean on.

Breeden also expects Damarie Gonzalez and the return of Courtney Seidler from an eye injury to key the Bulldogs success as well as newcomer Ashley Linda, a sophomore forward.

The injury bug seems to be tough for Burbank to shake. Lysette Perez and Irene Pashapour are already slowed by injury. Perez, a junior, is nursing a shoulder injury, while Pashapour — a senior guard — is sidelined with a knee injury.

A tough nonleague schedule should ready the Bulldogs for the Pacific League. The Bulldogs will play in the San Gabriel Valley Classic, the Burroughs Tournament and the West Coast Holiday Fest in preparation for Pacific League play which begins January 3 at Pasadena.


Three starters from last season make-up the nucleus for a Burbank team that went 16-12 overall a season ago — Austin Pope, Remy Youssefi and Ander Spight. Gone to graduation are Adam Colman and Chris White.

Newcomers, Adrian Chavez and Simon Elmoyan should help fill those voids, the latter however will not be eligible until after the new year after transferring from  Hoover High School. Chavez comes from cross town rival Burroughs. Sophomore Albert Marmol is a homegrown impact player who coach Jose Hernandez expects a lot from as well.

Hernandez expects perennial powers Pasadena and Muir to be the favorites again. He also believes Crescenta Valley could be tough.

Role-Reversal: Burroughs Teams Find Themselves in Far Different Roles Than Last Season

A year ago at this time the Burroughs High School’s boys’ basketball team was in year two of a rebuilding project. The Indians struggled and stumbled to a 3-24 overall record and a last place finish in the Pacific League.

Meanwhile, the Indians’ girls’ basketball team enjoyed their first league title in 32 years. They finished 25-5 overall, set a program record for wins in a season and advanced to the Division II A quarterfinals.

November 23rd’s  annual alumni games were an indication that the two programs are in a role reversal for this coming year. The boys’ team showcases veterans with experience, while the girls’ team may start a pair of freshmen while reloading without former Pacific League MVP, Lischa Elsenbach. Neither team will be as dreadful as the last place finishers of the boys’ squad a season ago, but neither is promising league championships just yet either. Here’s a more in-depth look at both teams as they gear-up for the 2011-2012 basketball season.


Coach Adam Hochberg has worked hard to turn around a program that has struggled the last two season. He promises this season his team will play with, “pride, passion and purpose.” Several players are entering their third seasons on the varsity level and seven return from last season. Add in a successful summer campaign and hopes are high the Indians will compete this season.

“We can be a top-three team in the league and we can make the playoffs,” Hochberg said. “We certainly are not going to be the pushovers we’ve been the last couple of years.”

Burroughs leading scorer from a year ago, junior Jorge Flores-Pere injured a hamstring two weeks ago and could be sidelined until league play starts in 2012. The injury was especially concerning for a team and scheme built on speed as the Indians may showcase five guards on the floor at once in some action this season.

“We will look to take advantage of our quickness,” Hochberg said. “We’ll look to get up and down the court in a hurry.”

In addition to Flores-Pere, Burroughs also returns seniors Austyn Thompson, Zeke Zuniga, Pedro Gonzales III and Brandon Jimenez as well as juniors Lawrence White, Carlos Mier Jr. and Hanoak Amanios. Transfer Ty Bennett from Burbank High School will also be in the mix.

Burroughs lacks one bonafide star, but there are at least a half-a-dozen players close in ability who could each lead in scoring on any given night. One gets the sense that is how Hochberg likes it.

“The sum of our parts are really good, ” said Hochberg. “We will be better on offense, no doubt, but our focus will remain on our defense.”


Junior Aysia Shellmire is the lone Indian who saw significant minutes during last season’s championship run. She averaged nearly ten points per game (9.8 ppg), as well as 7.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks en route to being a first-team all Pacific League selection.

Shellmire will be joined by Delaney Nicol, the daughter of former Burroughs girls’ basketball coach and current softball coach, Doug Nicol. Although Delaney is presently nursing an injury, she joins a long history of freshman guards for the Tribe. Another freshman, Davina Del Castillo will likely start in the front court.

Two sophomores, Sydney Ortega and Paula Galicia will also be key to whatever success the Indians find this season. Seniors Nicole Wiliams, Kaycee Cartee, and Gabby Pineiro as well as junior Bilee Trotta also figure to be important pieces for head coach Vicky Oganyan.

“We have some youth, but we have talent,” she said. “Everyone works, we’re going to have some growing pains but we are going to be fine.”

Burbank, Pasadena, Muir and Crescenta Valley all figure to be tough this year in the Pacific League.

Lakers Team Up With HP To Bring Technology To Burbank Boys & Girls Club

Photos By Ross A. Benson

The Los Angeles Lakers & Hewlett-Packard got together on Monday afternoon, to ‘Officially’ Cut the ribbon on the new technology room at the Burbank Boy’s & Girls Club. Lakers Steve Blake and Don Duff of Hewlett-Packard, got to meet the boy’s and girls who will benefit from the donation.  HP donated over $15,000 in technology equipment including HP Pavilion desktop PCs, LCD monitors, and HP LaserJet and Photosmart printers. The donation will provide club members access to updated equipment for its technology program, club Tech, which helps build club members’ knowledge and ability in computer skills necessary to succeed in school and the job market. “We are very thankful for companies like HP and our friends at the L.A. Lakers for choosing to support
our Boys & Girls club. we would not be able to help the youth in the Burbank and Greater East Valley areas without their generous donation,” stated Executive Director Shanna Warren.  Blake, who is in his eighth season in the NBA and first with the Lakers, interacted with club members and utilized the new features of the technology equipment donated by HP.

Luther Burbank Boys, Jordan Girls Dominate In Tri-City Basketball Championships

Middle School teams from Luther and Jordan traveled to Muir for the games held on Wednesday (Photo By Steven J. Lynch)

On Wednesday, John Muir Middle School hosted the Tri-School Boys and Girls Basketball tournament.  The tournament is played between the three middle schools in the district, Luther Burbank, Jordan, and Muir.  Each school has two boys teams and two girls teams, with teams playing the entire day to decide who has the best basketball teams in the city.  This year, Luther Burbank dominated the boys division as the Yellowjackets had both of their teams play in the championship game, giving Luther Burbank the Boys championship.  In the girls division, Jordan won an exciting championship game by beating Luther Burbank by three points.  It was an incredibly successful day and all of the student-athletes who participated should be proud of their efforts.

(above) The championship girls team from Jordan Middle School, and the Boy's team from Luther Burbank both were crowned champions (below) at the Tri-City meet. (Photos By Steven J. Lynch)

Burbank Easily Handles Burroughs In Pacific League Basketball Game

A sold out gym at Burroughs watched the Bulldogs lead from the opening tip off. (Photo By Steven J. Lynch)

Burroughs (3-17, 1-6) and Burbank got together for the first of their two games this season and Burbank (13-7, 4-3) came out on the winning side 74-46 to a packed house.  Burbank got off to a 8-2 start and never looked back.

Burbank High's #23 (G) Austin Pope, takes the ball down the court past the Indian's #13, David Shaw to score another basket for the Bulldogs. Pope had 15 points on the night for Burbank. (Photo By Steven J. Lynch)