By Rick Assad
It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that the Burroughs High and Burbank girls’ basketball teams finish in the top half of the Pacific League and make a long run in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
The Indians, who were 24-6 a season ago, have advanced to the semifinals the last two years and have gone undefeated in league action at 14-0 for three straight campaigns under Coach Vicky Oganyan.
The Bulldogs qualified for the postseason last year, but lost in the opening round to Garden Grove.
Burroughs commences its league schedule on Jan. 3 against Pasadena while Burbank travels to Crescenta Valley.
On Jan. 20 the Indians host the Bulldogs and on Feb. 9 Burroughs visits rival Burbank.
For first-year Burbank Coach John Wells, he has high expectations provided the team continues to improve which he expects them to do.
The projected starters for Oganyan include 5-foot-8 senior guard Kamryn Cardenaz, 5-8 senior forward Haley Wilson, 5-9 senior forward Jocelyn Rieken, 6-4 junior center Marin Grote and 5-3 sophomore guard Ariana Farias.
(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)
Cardenaz and Wilson will be the primary scorers, but both will be expected to rebound and play defense, which are staples of Oganyan’s team.
Grote, who was tabbed all-league second-team, will be counted upon to score, but her primarily responsibility is to play defense, rebound and block shots. She is committed to the University of Washington for volleyball.
“My expectations are to have my team improve each game and to put in the preparation during practice so we will be good when league starts,” Oganyan said.
Oganyan, who played at Glendale High, knows that she and her team have an extremely high standard, but it’s not only about going undefeated in league.
“We don’t worry about that,” she said. “We’re concerned about getting better each game and if we’re getting better, that’s all we’re concerned about.”
The rest of the team consists of 5-6 senior guard Breana Bauer, 5-10 senior center Caitlyn Pentland, 5-7 senior forward Angelia Davtyan, 5-7 sophomore guard Jill Kukawski and 5-2 sophomore guard Ayumi DeHerrera.
Others include 5-6 sophomore guard Camryn Lotka, 5-8 sophomore forward Nicole Rumfola, 5-5 sophomore guard Emily Gutierrez, 5-5 freshman guard Sophie Hawkins and 5-5 freshman guard A’sia Morales.
The Bulldogs finished 18-11 and 8-6 in league action and the roster consists of eight seniors, three sophomores and one freshman.
“League will be very competitive this year,” Wells said. “There are a handful of teams that can all beat one another and we should be right in that mix.”
Sophomore shooting guard Osanna Tirityan is 5-8 and she paced the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounding.
Photo By: Edward Tovmassian
Tirityan, who was named all-league first-team, will be asked to do as much and perhaps even more.
“Osanna took the league by storm as a freshman and now they know her and she’s going to improve this year,” Wells said.
Senior point guard Ani Sarkisyan is 5-6, the floor leader and one of the captains along with 5-8 senior forward Sarah Sarquiz, who has been bothered by a knee injury at the end of her sophomore season.
Both have been on the varsity for three seasons and expectations will be greater this season for both.
Senior center Emma Kerr is 6-1 and a capable scorer, but is especially adept at blocking shots and rebounding.
Kerr led the team in blocks a season ago. “Emma is a force in the middle,” Wells said.
The rest of the team includes 5-10 senior forward Sabrina Zakarian, 5-5 senior guard Stephanie Grigorian, 5-6 senior guard Emily Pennings and 5-5 senior small forward Kaitlynn Hanno.
The remainder of the squad includes 5-11 senior forward Ashley Machuca, 5-10 sophomore forward Robyn Kassens, 5-9 sophomore forward Sofia Aslanyan and 5-5 freshman guard Brianna Castro.