Tag Archives: Burbank High

Burbank Girls Water Polo Sneaks Past Visiting Glendale, 12-11

By Rick Assad

Before the Burbank High girls’ water polo team squared off against visiting Glendale in its Pacific League match on Thursday, six seniors were recognized for their contributions in and out of the swimming pool.

Once the clash began, it was evident these two teams were nearly identical, and they were, but in the end the Bulldogs managed to escape with a 12-11 triumph.

Julie Kim paced the Bulldogs with five goals in a 12-11 win over Glendale. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Too close for comfort. Especially since it was Senior Day. Their heads weren’t in the game like it usually was,” Burbank coach Melani Aghazarian said. “And I feel like we didn’t  play to our full potential. It didn’t really pick up at all.”

Aghazarian added: “It may have been a win, but I expected more from my girls,” she noted. “I’m proud of them for pushing through. That wasn’t their full potential. They weren’t as focused. Their heads were somewhere else.”

Leading the charge was sophomore Julie Kim, who garnered a team-best five goals including three in the first half as Burbank led 6-5 at the intermission.

Junior Yana Stephanyan chipped in with three second-half goals and senior Sophia Brice and senior Sera Shabhazian each tossed in two goals.

“I think this year we have a lot of chemistry,” Brice said. “Last year we were really close with one another, but this year we were majority seniors so all of our starting lineup is seniors.”

Anasheh Abedian looks to score for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Brice continued: “We’ve played together for all four years of high school, so we have a strong bond with one another and we can trust each other,” she pointed out. “And this year we’re running a lot more plays and I feel more confident when I play.”

Brice said that the pre-match festivities maybe made the team perhaps too charged.

“We were very excited and a little nervous,” she said. “So we were just kind of jumpy. And it took us until the second half of the game to really get focused.”

Glendale senior attacker Jamie Fritz was a one-girl wrecking ball after scoring a match-best seven goals that included five in the second half.

“We’re a very young team and we’ve come a long way this season, especially in the last two weeks the amount these girls have grown is phenomenal,” Glendale coach Garrett Fritz said. “But there is definitely some things we still have to learn in terms of maintaining your cool like in an advantage situation. In these situations, you can’t get too over excited.”

Julie Kim tries to control the ball while being guarded by two Nitro defenders. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Nitros (4-12 and 0-4 in league) seized a 2-0 advantage when sophomore utility Ashley Hernandez made it 1-0 on a 16-foot toss with 6:03 left and Fritz’s 10-footer with 5:23 left pushed the lead to 2-0.

The Bulldogs evened it at 2-2 on a 10-foot laser from Kim with 4:22 remaining on the clock and Brice’s 12-footer with 31 seconds left in the opening quarter.

Glendale senior attacker/defender Bernice Doronila found the range on a 10-footer, 14 seconds later for a 3-2 lead.

Burbank (6-5 and 2-1 in league) answered with a 12-footer from Kim with one second on the clock that leveled it a 3-3.

The Bulldogs outscored the Nitros 3-2 in the second period as Shabhazian connected on a 10-footer with 5:51 left that made it 4-3 and Kim’s 12-foot tally, 50 seconds later extended Burbank’s advantage to 5-3.

Stubborn, Glendale evened it at 5-5 when Doronila unloaded a 10-footer with 2:59 on the ticker and Fritz added a six-footer, 13 seconds later.

The final tally of the second quarter was an eight-footer from Brice and it proved to be the key goal because each squad scored six goals in the second half.

Fritz’s 10-footer with 6:22 left in the third quarter evened it at 6-6, but Burbank moved ahead 7-6 on a 12-footer from Kim, 18 seconds later.

Glendale tied it at 7-7 on a 16-foot goal from Fritz, only to see the Bulldogs respond with back-to-back goals as Kim scored on a 12-footer with 4:25 showing and Stepanyan’s eight-footer with 3:31 left made it a 9-7 cushion.

Fritz’s 10-footer with 2:59 left sliced the deficit to 9-8, but Shabhazian’s 10-foot laser with 1:56 remaining made it 10-8.

The fourth quarter began with Fritz scoring on an eight-footer and 4:42 left that narrowed Burbank’s lead to 10-9 and Doronila’s six-footer knotted it at 10-10 with 3:34 left.

Burbank scored two of the next three goals as Stepanyan’s eight-footer with 3:13 on the clock broke the deadlock and made it 11-10 and Kim’s 10-footer with 2:27 showing increased the lead to 12-10.

Fritz’s 16-foot rainbow with 2:07 showing trimmed the margin to 12-11 and it would be the last goal, as neither team scored the rest of the fourth period.

Burbank Girls Hoopsters Outscored In Second Half, Lose 46-27

By Rick Assad

For the first half, the Burbank High girls’ basketball team was able to stand toe-to-toe with visiting Arcadia.

This wasn’t the case in the second half as the Apaches outscored the Bulldogs 28-10 and emerged with a 46-27 Pacific League triumph on Tuesday night.

Senior shooting guard Bri Castro nailed a three-pointer and a hoop in the first quarter and then tallied another three-point shot in the second quarter.

Bri Castro, shown dribbling in a recent match versus rival Burroughs, scored eight points against Arcadia, before injuring her ankle. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

But midway through that frame, Castro reinjured her right ankle and was assisted off the floor and had an ice bag placed on her injured ankle and didn’t return to the game.

“I’m okay,” said Castro of her turned ankle following the contest after scoring a team-best eight points.

Making matters even worse for Burbank, which shot 23.6 percent from the floor after making nine of 38, junior point guard Kim Pimentel hasn’t been in the lineup for an extended period of time after injuring her left knee and just recently had the brace removed.

Pimentel, who is a steadying influence on the court, did play briefly against Burroughs on Friday, but didn’t see any action against Arcadia.

“I need to know that they’re not afraid to be the one to make a mistake,” Burbank coach Jett Del Mundo said of his team that consists of five seniors, three juniors, four sophomores and one freshman. “They don’t want to be the one to take the shot. They don’t want to be the one to run the play. They want someone else to make the mistake so it’s not them. Part of that is maturity.”

Erika Montoya, pictured in a recent game versus Burroughs, didn’t score against Arcadia, but played solid defense. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Del Mundo added: “We also need to execute better,” he noted. “We’ll go five minutes at a time where we don’t do anything. We’ll just settle for whatever the other team gives us.”

The Apaches (9-9 and 4-3 in league) outscored the Bulldogs 14-9 in the opening period and led 18-17 at the intermission.

Burbank outscored Arcadia 8-4 in the second quarter and hammered in seven of 19 from the field for 36.8 percent in the opening half.

Burbank sophomore shooting guard Emily Mergerdichian has played very well lately and contributed five of her seven points in the second frame.

The Bulldogs (8-11 and 2-5 in league) missed all seven shots in the third period, but connected on all four free throws.

The Apaches, who hit 16 of 51 shots for 31.3 percent on the evening, were successful on four of 11 from the field in the third quarter and drilled all six from the charity stripe to pull ahead 33-21.

Burbank sank two of 12 from the floor in the fourth quarter for 10.5 percent and was successful on two of six from the free-throw line as sophomore point guard Alle Tarvirdi, who has also played well recently, tallied all of her five points in the period.

Arcadia made 33.3 percent of its field goals (nine of 27) in the second half and all nine of its free throws.

Senior small forward Naomi Turner led the way for the Apaches with a game-high 13 points including seven in the fourth period.

Senior small forward Merci Turner added 10 points for Arcadia as she scored eight points in the second half that included six in the third period.

Senior center Kennedy Lyles contributed eight points after scoring two points in all four quarters.

Senior center Adelina Bandarian, senior power forward Khyla Lipscomb and senior center Adriana Cabrera all scored two points for the Bulldogs and freshman power forward Karen Casillas tacked on one point.

Burroughs Girls Basketball Pulls Away From Host Burbank

By Rick Assad

Behind an effective 2-3 zone press by the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team, host Burbank turned the ball over in bunches which opened the path for the Indians to claim a 52-35 Pacific League win on Friday.

With the help of turnovers, Burroughs marched ahead 26-5 in the first quarter and were in front 40-15 at halftime as junior shooting guard Dyani Del Castillo tallied all of her 13 points and junior power forward Kayla Wrobel added 10 of her 13 points.

Wrobel’s basket with 4:36 remaining in the initial frame made it 11-0 and the Indians were on their way.

Faith Boulanger scored eight points and had seven steals for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I think that just playing solid defense is what we focus on because that’s how we contribute to our wins,” Del Castillo said.

Always a perfectionist, Del Castillo was happy with the victory, but wanted to do even more.

“I think I could have done more to help out my team,” she said after hitting three from three-point range.

On the night, the Indians (14-5 and 5-1 in league) shot 36.3 percent from the floor (20 of 55) and limited the Bulldogs (8-10 and 2-4 in league) to 12 of 26 for 46.1 percent.

“Recently we’re trying to pressure up more,” said Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan of the press. “The last three or four games it’s worked well for us. I think the girls are getting the hang of it. They’re getting better at it. It makes us a better team.”

Bri Castro is trying to dribble against a swarming Burroughs defense. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs, which is the CIF Southern Section’s No. 9 ranked team in Division II-A, outrebounded Burbank 33-23 with sophomore shooting guard Noor Fahs grabbing a game-best seven rebounds along with six steals, four assists and scoring five points.

“That’s when we’re really good is when we have multiple players and we don’t just rely on one player,” Oganyan said of her offense.

On many occasions, the Bulldogs tried to get the ball inside or even try crosscourt passes, but too many defenders were there and a turnover would result.

“After that we settled down and realized that we have to play one possession at a time,” Burbank coach Jett Del Mundo said. “They’re trying to win or lose the game on one possession.”

Sophie Hawkins is being guarded by Erika Montoya. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Del Mundo spoke about the team trying to do too much.

“We’re not making passes. We have to make the simple pass,” he said of the litany of mistakes. “We don’t have to make the terrific pass. We got going a little bit in the second half.”

Wrobel’s nine points led the Indians in the first quarter while Del Castillo tallied eight.

Junior power forward/center Faith Boulanger (seven steals), who many times brought the ball up the floor, accounted for four of her eight points in the opening period as the Indians converted 10 of 17 from the field for 58.8 percent.

Burroughs junior power forward Sydney Martin scored four of her six points in the second period and Del Castillo tacked on five points in the frame.

Sydney Martin is ready to take a shot against Tabitha Cruz. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Senior shooting guard Sophie Hawkins added seven points and tossed in a three-pointer in the same period.

Both squads scored eight points in the third quarter while Burbank outscored Burroughs 12-4 in the fourth period.

Burbank had only 10 attempts from the field in the opening half and made six.

The Bulldogs converted two of two shots from the floor in the first period and four of eight in the second.

Senior power forward Khyla Lipscomb and sophomore point guard Christina Ohanians both poured in six points to lead Burbank.

Sophomore point guard Alle Tarvirdi tacked on five points while sophomore center Tabitha Cruz sprinkled in four points.

Senior shooting guard Bri Castro, junior point guard Erika Montoya, sophomore shooting guard Emily Megerdichian and freshman power forward Karen Casillas, all added three points and senior center Adelina Bandarian had two points.

Burbank, Hoover Girls Soccer Match Concludes With No Goals

By Rick Assad

It wasn’t for a lack of desire or skill or motivation that prevented the Burbank High girls’ soccer team and its opponent, Hoover, from scoring in Friday’s Pacific League match.

It was that nearly two weeks worth of rust had accumulated on both squads and that was the primary culprit in a 0-0 stalemate at Kemp-Kallem Field.

The last time the Bulldogs took the pitch was December 19 in a 7-0 loss to host Crescenta Valley. Hoover’s last action was December 23 when it traveled to play Alemany.

Burbank, shown in a match versus rival Burroughs, played to a 0-0 tie against visiting Hoover. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We just came out flat,” Burbank coach Pablo Diaz said. “We didn’t practice during the break. Our first practice was Monday, then we had a practice on Thursday and today just coming from the break, some of the girls were slow and they told me they were out of shape.”

Diaz added: “They came in and they were flat,” he noted. “But you’ve got to give it to them (Hoover). They played well and they made no mistakes in the back. We had a few chances that we should have put in the net and we didn’t. That’s the nature of the game.”

There were a few decent scoring opportunities for the Bulldogs, but they were not seized.

Several players stood out and included senior goalie Lindsey Miller, senior Ani Akopyan, senior Emma Molloy, junior Roxy Payind, junior Katie Molloy and sophomore Madie Chase for the Bulldogs (1-1-3 and 1-1-2 in league).

“They were trying to take it on their own,” Diaz said. “I have two or three players that when they see that the combination is not there and the touch is not there and they try to play two or three touches, then they say, it’s not there and I’m going to score.”

For the Tornadoes (4-5-1 and 0-3-1 in league), senior goalie Elizabeth Ghazanchian, senior midfielder Madeline Coopersmith, senior defender Kassandra Martinez, senior midfielder Melanie Torres and junior forward Jazzmin Simmons, all performed well.

Payind’s 30-yarder in the sixth minute was off target and in the 11 minute, Chase’s 20-yarder also missed.

Emma Molloy’s 15-yarder in the 15th minute was off and so was Katie Molloy’s 45-yard free kick in the 17th minute.

Emma Molloy’s 35-yarder in the 21st minute didn’t hit the target and Chase’s 35-yarder drifted too far left in the 26th minute.

Hoover finally broke the streak when Simmons unloaded a 35-yard free kick in the 29th minute, but Emma Molloy responded with a 25-yard kick a minute later.

After a throw in the during the 32nd minute, Torres contributed a 15-yard attempt followed by a 15-yard blast from Simmons, two minutes later.

The opening half came to a conclusion on a corner kick from Katie Molloy in the 39th minute.

The Bulldogs took the first three kicks of the second half as Payind had a 25-yarder in the 41st minute and was followed in the 42nd minute by a 30-yarder by Chase that sailed too far right. Payind tossed in a 30-yarder in the 43rd minute, but it was much too high.

Hoover struck back as Martinez uncorked a 40-yarder in the 51st minute that didn’t have enough on it and Coopersmith’s 25-yarder three minutes later, was too wide.

Payind’s breakaway from 35 yards was wide left in the 56th minute and in the 57th minute, Payind’s 30-yarder was again too far left. Payind’s 25-yarder hit the football goal post behind the net in the 61st minute.

Chase’s 15-yarder in the 64th minute missed the mark and Payind’s 25-yarder was wide left, two minutes later.

A 40-yarder from Torres in the 69th minute failed to find the back of the net and Coopersmith’s 20-yarder a minute later also didn’t hit the net.

A 35-yarder from Torres in the 70th minute was off the mark and less than a half minute later, Emma Molloy’s 30-yard was also off target.

In the 73rd minute, Chase added a 25-yarder and in the 77th minute, Katie Molloy delivered a 30-yard penalty kick.

The match ended on Chase’s 35-yarder in the 79th minute which was wide right.

Burbank Girls Basketball Struggles Against Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad

After four quarters, the Burbank High girls’ basketball team took only 30 shots from the field in its Pacific League game against visiting Crescenta Valley on Thursday night.

The reason for taking so few is because the Bulldogs committed more than 30 turnovers which translated into a 53-40 setback.

Freshman forward Karen Casillas looks to pass the ball to senior shooting guard Bri Castro. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We must have committed at least 15 turnovers each half,” Burbank coach Jett Del Mundo said.

Del Mundo continued: “I’d say that’s probably the worst game that we have played, but credit CV for that by getting in our face and playing man-to-man,” he said. “But we have to have more composure than that. If you give your opponents 20, 30 more opportunities than you, you’re going to lose no matter how good you are.”

Point guard Kim Pimentel was missing from the lineup due to a knee injury she suffered during the Muir game, a 45-35 victory for the Bulldogs.

The junior floor leader is a heady player and is expected back in the starting lineup in two or three weeks.

Burbank, which converted 13 of 30 attempts for 43.3 percent, trailed 28-12 at the intermission, but outscored the Falcons 28-25 in the second half.

The two were knotted at 10-10 heading into the second quarter after the Bulldogs (6-6 and 1-2 in league) made four of seven from the field.

Junior guard Erika Montoya tries to get around Denise Dayag. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“This is the first game where we didn’t compete,” Del Mundo said. “We showed up for the first quarter and then we thought, we’re fine. They were hungrier than us and they wanted it more than us.”

In the second period, Burbank sank one shot in six attempts and it came late in the frame when senior shooting guard Bri Castro scored.

The Bulldogs missed their first six shots from the floor in that quarter before Castro, who drained two three-pointers in the opening frame, found her range with about a minute left.

“This game we didn’t play with a lot of poise,” said Castro, who finished with a  game-best 19 points. “We kind of just threw the ball. We just have to work together and keep up the positivity and hustle back if we turn it over and not let them score.”

Senior forward Valerie Martinez launches a long-range jumper. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Castro, who made five three-pointers on the evening, went on: “I like to keep the positivity up, so this was not one of our best games,” she noted. “We just all kind of crumbled and gave in to their pressure and let them lead the game. This was a great learning experience for us.”

The Falcons (9-5 and 1-2 in league) came out and took 16 shots in the initial frame while making four and added 17 shots in the second quarter, converting six.

Senior point guard Denise Dayag tallied nine of her 14 points in the first half for Crescenta Valley and senior power forward Lily Geck added six of her team-best 16 points.

Again, the Bulldogs struggled to find their shots in the third quarter, making four of seven while the Falcons (22 of 64 for 34.3 percent) attempted 14 and drilled seven which resulted in a 43-24 edge.

Burbank came within 34-22 with 3:21 left in the period when Castro sank the third of her three-pointers as the Falcons asked for time out.

It took a while, but the Bulldogs finally outscored the Falcons in a quarter as Burbank hit four of 10 from the floor and seven of 15 from the free-throw line in the fourth period.

The Bulldogs were successful on eight of 17 from the charity line (47 percent) and the Falcons made seven of 20 (35 percent).

Sophomore guard Alle Tarvirdi and sophomore guard Emily Megerdichian each tossed in five points for the Bulldogs.

Senior forward Khyla Lipscomb added four points, freshman forward Karen Casillas scored three points and senior forward Valerie Martinez along with sophomore center Tabitha Cruz, both tallied two points.

Burbank, Burroughs Boys Hoops Set Sights High

By Rick Assad

The task is a tall one, no doubt, but the Burbank High and Burroughs boys’ basketball teams are each gunning for the top spot when it comes to the Pacific League standings, hoping to unseat Pasadena.

The Bulldogs are athletic with dependable shooters and defenders and will be led Sid Cooke, who has an impressive and deep resume, having coached Renaissance Academy to a pair of CIF Southern Section championships across 16 years.

“We’re trying to build a culture. Commitment and accountability. Do the right thing every time,” said Cooke, a first-year coach at Burbank, who was also an assistant coach at Glendale Community College for three years. “They do play hard, but they’ve got to play different as far as the understanding of the game.”

You can never practice enough as Burroughs goes through some drills. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank played well last season after going 17-12 and 8-6 in league for fourth place.

The Bulldogs fell to La Canada 57-43 in the opening-round of the CIF Division II A playoffs.

Burbank will not have shooting guard Miles D’Agostin, who averaged just over 26 points and was selected All-CIF second team, because of graduation.

Cooke is a tough taskmaster who demands perfection on the court, but knows how to motivate.

Four players were on last year’s squad and they will be asked to lead Burbank on the floor.

Kevin Sarkes is a 6-foot-5 senior center who will rebound, play solid defense and shoot in the paint.

“We have a good group of guys,” he said. “We hope to capture the first league title in a long time, it’s been about 20 years. And then heading to CIF, we’ve been knocked out two years in the first round. Our goal is to capture the first CIF title.”

Senior Ben Burnham (6-0) is a standout wide receiver on the football team and will offer grit, points, hard-nose defense and rebounds from the point guard position.

“Transitioning from football to basketball is not that hard. I’m not in basketball shape,” he said. “We’re looking to do some damage in league. We’re focusing on getting better every week.”

Junior small forward Abiel Pearl (No. 25) will be a key player for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Senior shooting guard Leo Tahmasian (6-0) is a clutch long-range artist who can score points in a hurry.

“Three coaches in three years. Yes, it’s not easy, but when you have a great coaching staff it’s pretty easy to adjust,” he said. “They have a system in place.”

Sarkes then added: “Coach Sid has won multiple championships at different levels,” he said. “His resume speaks for itself. He’s a great coach. We have a great group of guys. I’m very confident in what we can do this year whether it’s in league or CIF. We’ve got a good core and a good group of guys to build around.”

Junior shooting guard/small forward Abiel Pearl (6-3) is athletic and a leaper who has a soft touch in the paint, is a ball hawk on defense and a splendid rebounder.

There are four other seniors on the team and they include shooting guard Gor Keshishyan (6-2), shooting guard Danny Contreras (5-7), shooting guard A.J. Blake (5-10), small forward/power forward Craig Rushton (6-2) and center Greg Zadikian (6-5).

Up and in the basket. The Indians hope to see more of this during the season. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The juniors include point guard Vartan Avetisyan (5-9), shooting guard Elmer Reyes (5-10), small forward Kelton Shea (6-3) and shooting guard Armen Nazarian (6-3).

Three sophomores are on the team and they are small forward J.G. Lambert (6-3), point guard/shooting guard Phoenix Mosley (5-9) and shooting guard Nigel Dickens (6-1).

The Indians are deep in talent this season and hope to forget last season in which they went 11-16 and 4-10 in league for sixth place while missing the postseason.

Four players return and they include senior swingman Emery Goulet, senior point guard Nicholas Garcia, senior shooting guard Carson Cardenaz and reserve forward Tyler Cantrell.

Goulet is a first-team all-league selection, team captain and one of the floor leaders.

Garcia, who was the quarterback for the Indians, will distribute the basketball and look for his shot when it’s available.

Senior guard Leo Tahmasian (No. 23) should have a solid season for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Cardenaz played wide receiver and always showed his toughness on the field.

“We are bigger and stronger physically than last year’s team,” Burroughs coach Allan Ellis said. “I think last year’s experience for our starting guards will help us a lot on and off the court for our younger players.”

Ellis knows it’s not going to be easy to capture the league title, but likes what he’s seen.

“We know we are in a tough league, but the majority of these players have been a part of my program for four years,” he said. “We look forward to the challenge and the guys are hungry to show what they are capable of on the basketball court.”

The rest of the backcourt will consist of shooting guard Jase Sadsad, shooting guard Blake Ballard, shooting guard Elijah Duller, shooting guard Evan Zamora and point guard Coleman Chennault.

The frontcourt will be comprised of Jack Nitzsche, Chance Spinks and Corwin Smith, who is 6-6, and will play center.

Burbank, Burroughs Girls Water Polo Looks To Improve

By Rick Assad

It’s not exactly beach weather in Southern California with low temperatures and occasional rain, but the Burroughs High and Burbank girls’ water polo season is already under way.

Each team will be looking to better the previous season record-wise and that means a run at the Pacific League crown.

The Indians are coming off a campaign in which they went 9-7 in all matches and 5-3 for third place in league.

Emanuella Nathan, who signed a letter of intent to play for the University of the Pacific, will be a presence for the Indians in goal. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs coach Jacob Cook thinks this could be an exciting and a special season for the Indians.

“I have high expectations for the team and I expect them to do well in league and the playoffs,” he said.

A season ago, the Indians were knocked out of the CIF Southern Section Division IV playoffs after losing to El Segundo 10-0.

Defense is always essential and with senior Emanuella Nathan playing goalie, the Indians are going to have an extremely stingy defense, which will in turn allow Burroughs to be in many games.

Nathan, who has been a prep standout for several years, recently signed a letter of intent to play water polo for the University of the Pacific.

Cook will have three other seniors on the team and they include Mallory Thomas, Chloe Caneday and Madeline Lingad.

The trio will be asked to lead the team and also contribute points and defense, which is something each will gladly do.

Burbank senior Sera Shabhazian will be a major contributor and a key to the Bulldogs’ success. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Five juniors are on the Burroughs squad and they are Angelina Lee, Bella Mucha, Jane Reyes, Chrissy Vlick and Charlotte Jennings.

Three sophomores are on the team and they include Emily Callahan, Kelly Long and Clarissa Robles.

Nancy Baylor is the lone freshman, but is extremely talented, having played for the prestigious Rose Bowl travel team.

“I would say Chrissy, Bella and Clarissa are the ones to look out for,” Cook said of his top players.

The Bulldogs went 7-14 overall and 4-4 in league play for fifth place, and didn’t qualify for the postseason.

Burbank has a first-year coach in Melani Aghazarian, who played water polo for Glendale High, wants to see improvement, even if it takes a little while.

“I just want the girls to work hard and come out at the end really proud of what they’ve accomplished,” she said of this season. “I hope to make CIF for playoffs, but I’m not too worried about it this year. It’s a rebuilding year.”

Aghazarian added: “They’re all trusting of each other and it’s a new experience. I want them to have a really good work ethic,” she pointed out.

Aghazarian also addressed her philosophy. “I think defense wins games. I think defense wins championships in the long run. I am very defense oriented,” she said. “Offense and defense, it’s all important. For offense, I just want the girls to move more, create more opportunities. I’m looking to build a chemistry, which is something they don’t have now.”

The Bulldogs will be paced by four seniors starters: Sera Shabhazian, Anasheh Abedian, Sophia Brice and Michele Mirzoyan.

Junior Jenny Stepanyan will be in the cage and her performance will be one indicator of whether the Bulldogs will post a better record than last season.

The other Bulldog starters include junior Yana Stepanyan and sophomore Julie Kim, and they are also going to have to play well in order for Burbank to make the playoffs.

The rest of the team will consist of Lauren Applebaum, Vana Matevosian, Ananya Katappagari, Galia Housepian, Gabriella Aghajanyan, Ania Simonian and Rachel Tomasek, Stepanyan’s backup in goal.

Burroughs, Burbank Girls Basketball Ready, Steady

By Rick Assad

At least recently, the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team has been the dominant force in the Pacific League, having won numerous banners under the leadership of longtime coach Vicky Oganyan.

Meanwhile, city rival Burbank has also produced some fine teams and has usually ended up in the top half of the league.

Both should be contenders for the league title this season, but Pasadena, which finished in a three-way tie for first place along with Burroughs and Crescenta Valley, might very well be the front-runner.

Bri Castro is a senior shooting guard and the only returning starter for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians, who were 21-8 overall and 10-4 in league a season ago, are still plenty potent.

“My expectations are to stay focused on the task ahead, play hard one play at a time, work together and get better individually and as a team as the season progresses,” said Ognayan, who saw the Indians lose to Walnut 43-38 in a CIF Southern Section Division II AA opening-round playoff match.

Oganyan, who played at Glendale High, has more than enough weapons at her disposal.

“Faith Boulanger, Dyani Del Castillo and Kayla Wrobel are all returning all-league players who we are going to count on to lead the way,” she said. “All three have experience and know what it takes to be successful at the varsity level.”

Boulanger is a 6-foot-1 junior center/forward, who can score from anywhere on the court and also collect rebounds.

Boulanger averaged 15 points and nearly eight boards for the Indians, who will visit Burbank on January 10 and host the Bulldogs on February 6.

Del Castillo (5-8) is a junior point guard with slick ball-handling skills, while Wrobel (5-11) is a junior power forward, who can score and grab rebounds.

Faith Boulanger is a junior center/power forward who can score, rebound and play defense for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

There are three seniors on the team and include A’sia Morales (5-7), a point guard, Sophie Hawkins (5-7), a shooting guard and Hana Savola (5-11), a power forward.

The juniors on the squad are Lauren Lucas (5-5), a point guard and Sydney Martin (6-0), a center.

The available sophomores are Stephanie Wilson (5-4), a point guard, Noor Fahs (5-9), a small forward and Sarai Waddell (5-6), a shooting guard.

Three freshmen on also on the team and they are Isabella Roderick (5-11), a center, Ivana Razov (5-6), a shooting guard and Rachel Little (5-5), a point guard.

Jett Del Mundo is in his first season as coach of the Bulldogs, but has a quarter century of leading girls’ hoop programs, including Pasadena.

Kim Pimentel is a junior and the starting point guard for Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“My overall expectations for this group is to play better basketball, better team basketball than we did a season ago,” he said. “We won games because of our talent, but now we need to win games because we compete.”

Del Mundo then added: “We put a lot of hard work in the summer,” he noted. “They in turn wanted to participate in fall ball at Pasadena City College. I think we’re ready to start a new season and do better than a season ago.”

Del Mundo, a graduate of USC, feels confident that his team will have a productive season despite the graduation of highly-decorated power forward Osanna Tirityan, who did virtually everything on the floor.

Tirityan, an All-CIF selection, led the Bulldogs in multiple categories including points and rebounds.

Burbank finished last season with a 15-13 mark and 6-8 in league for fifth place, and didn’t get an at-large bid for the postseason tournament.

Also gone to graduation is starter Sofia Aslanyan. Track star Jayla Flowers decided to dedicated herself to her best sport.

Thirteen players comprise Burbank’s squad and includes five seniors, so there is enough leadership.

Two upper classmen are starters and includes Bri Castro, a gifted shooting guard and long-range shooter who is the only returning starter.

Kayla Wrobel is a junior power forward for Burroughs and a starter. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The other is center Adelina Bandarian, who will be asked to rebound and play defense, but can also put the ball in the hole.

“I’m approaching it like we can win hopefully every game,” Castro said. “But we have to play as a team and pass the ball. Last year I was mainly just a spot-up shooter. I want to be an all-around player. I want to drive to the basket more.”

What are some of Castro’s goals? “I kind of want to be all-league and I want to score more than 12 points a game,” she said.

Junior Kim Pimentel is also a starter and the point guard and captain and will have the ball in her hands a great deal.

“My expectations have been a little different this season. We’re starting over. We have only one returning starting player and that’s Bri. My expectations are pretty high,” Pimentel explained. “I have trust in my team and I think we can do really good. I just want to be the leader I can be. I just want to be there for my team. I want to be more aggressive on the court.”

Del Mundo will employ a three-guard offense, so the other backcourt starter will be sophomore Christina Ohanians.

Senior Khyla Lipscomb is the starting small forward, and ready to step in and contribute and so is freshman power forward Karen Casillas.

Senior small forward Valerie Martinez will likely see time on the floor and so will senior power forward Adriana Cabrera and junior guard Erika Montoya.

The rest of the team is comprised of junior forward Bella Jade, sophomore center Tabitha Cruz, sophomore small forward Emily Megerdichian and sophomore guard Alle Tarvirdi.

Burroughs Boys Water Polo Uses Second Half To Win 20-7 Over Burbank

By Rick Assad

An offensive tsunami in the second half and a suffocating defense in two of the four quarters were at the crux of the Burroughs High boys’ water polo team routing host Burbank 20-7 in the Pacific League regular-season finale on Wednesday afternoon in front of a jammed-packed audience.

Seven players scored for the Indians (11-6 and 4-2 in league), but none stood taller than senior utility Vahagan Sahakyan, who chimed in with a match-best nine goals, including seven in the second half when Burroughs outscored Burbank 15-2.

Burbank’s Pavel Tantchev, shown in a recent Pacific League match, scored a goal against Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We just yelled at them a little bit, stuff they were getting complacent on,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said of the second half offensive deluge. We got it together.”

Not too far behind was sophomore utility Xavier Turla, who added six goals for the Indians, who shut out the Bulldogs in the first and fourth quarters.

The Indians led 5-0 heading into the second frame, but the Bulldogs (5-12 and 1-5 in league) dropped in five goals and evened it at 5-5 at the intermission.

Junior utility Ryan Jaramillo’s six-footer with 5:16 left was the first tally of the match before Turla buzzed in one from 10 feet with 2:39 left to make it 2-0.

Turla’s five-footer with 27 seconds left extended the lead to 3-0. When Sahakyan drilled a six-footer with 11 seconds left, the Indians’ cushion was 4-0.

Burroughs slid ahead 5-0 on Sahakyan’s tally and 6:38 left in the second frame. Burbank (2-14 and 1-4 in league) scored the next five goals as junior driver Grigor Gasabian nailed a 10-footer as 6:08 remained.

The Indians were tied 5-5 at the half with the Bulldogs, but exploded for 15 goals in the second half. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sophomore driver Pavel Tantchev scored on a 10-foot laser and 3:50 left and was followed by a 12-footer with 2:24 on the ticker by sophomore driver Jonathan Agazaryan.

Gasabian’s 20-foot tally with 47 seconds left made it 5-4 while Agazaryan 12-footer found the back of the net 28 seconds later that knotted it at 5-5.

“We weren’t responding to their counters,” first-year Burbank coach Mike Lucero said. “We were in the game. They [Burroughs] kept scoring off of every counter.”

How did the Bulldogs rally in the second quarter? “They were moving more and they were running the plays they were supposed to run,” Lucero said.

The Indians came out and scored the first four goals of the third quarter and led 9-5. Sahakyan’s point-blank goal with 6:03 left made it 6-5 and junior utility Alex Lewin’s two-footer with 5:23 showing pushed the advantage to 7-5.

Sahakyan’s point-blank shot with 4:50 remaining saw the Indians dart in front 8-5 and Turla’s three-footer made it a four-goal lead and 3:29 remaining.

The Bulldogs broke the spell when senior driver Kouroush Dolatshani knocked in an eight-footer with 2:42 on the clock as Burbank came within 9-6.

Two goals followed for the Indians as Sahakyan’s 10-footer with 1:36 left made it 10-6 and senior attacker Tobey Ho’s five-footer 27 seconds later extended the lead to 11-6.

Sophomore driver Avo Barsegyan scored from 12 feet for the Bulldogs as 26 seconds remained that made it 11-7, while Sahakyan’s 12-footer five seconds later pushed it to a five-goal lead.

An eight-goal outburst highlighted the fourth quarter as Sahakyan and Turla each scored three goals.

Sahakyan hammered two 10-foot goals including one with 6:18 left that made it 13-7 and one with 5:26 on the clock for a 14-7 lead.

Turla’s six-footer with 4:53 on the timer made it 15-7 and Sahakyan’s eight-footer 17 seconds later expanded the advantage to 16-7.

Turla’s six-footer 39 seconds later extended the Indians’ lead to 10 goals. Senior attacker Chet Conlan’s close-range goal with 2:50 left made it 18-7 and Turla’s point-blank tally with 1:53 on the clock shoved the Indians ahead 19-7.

Junior utility Miguel Martinez capped off the offensive outburst with a six-footer as 41 seconds remained.

Senior Arthur Eldridge and senior David Karagezyan each played exceptional in goal for Burroughs, while Burbank senior net-keeper Sarkis Terpetrossyan was under duress for much of the day.

The next order of business for both schools is the league tournament which begins on Tuesday at Arcadia and concludes on October 31.

Burroughs Girls Volleyball Tested By Rival Burbank, Victorious In Four Sets

By Rick Assad

With nearly two sets completed, the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team had its back against the wall against longtime rival Burbank.

The Bulldogs were ahead 24-21 in the second set and one more point would give the visitors a two games to none lead in this Pacific League match.

Quicker than a blink of an eye, the Indians rallied and tallied five straight points and evened it at one set each and then took the next two games for a 15-25, 26-24, 25-16, 25-10 triumph on Thursday night and capped the league undefeated.

Catie Virtue is seen digging a ball for Burroughs, which held off Burbank in four sets. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Two days earlier, Burroughs claimed their third consecutive league banner and now await this weekend’s pairings and seedings from the CIF Southern Section.

“We don’t give up, that’s for sure,” longtime Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “We’ve come back against teams this year, so we’ve been there. We weren’t panicked.”

What did Real tell the team after losing the first set? “I told them we’re going to be just fine. Just stay calm and composed,” he said.

Burroughs (18-5 and 14-0 in league) sprinted to a 5-3 lead on a kill from senior middle blocker Camila Sanchez-Tellez.

“It feels great. It was on our whiteboard. We could have very easily said we won the league at 13-1, but the girls wanted to go undefeated,” Real said of Thursday’s motivation.

The Bulldogs are about to return the ball to the Indians’ side. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank (13-16 and 8-6 for fourth place in league) evened it at 7-7 on a service ace from senior setter Ashley Eskander.

“I think we just got a little bit in our heads,” said Eskander, who finished with 27 assists, nine digs, seven kills and five aces. “I think the crowd kind of just got to us and we made silly mistakes, and they came out strong and they just pushed us.”

Eskander continued: “I think we came out stronger than we ever did before,” she noted. “And that worked to our advantage. I definitely think we’re in the underdog situation and we have that nothing to lose mentality. We fought and we played our game.”

A push from senior outside hitter Lydia Grote, who had a match-best 23 kills with two blocks, gave the Indians, who have defeated the Bulldogs 10 straight matches, an 11-8 lead.

A kill from sophomore defensive specialist Charlotte Hobson (nine digs and two aces) made it 15-13, but Burbank evened it at 17-17 on a spike from junior opposite hitter Tamryn Betts.

The Indians are ready for the Bulldogs’ serve. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I thought we were passing pretty well. I thought our swings were in all rhythm and moving the ball around,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “Everything was flowing well as a team in that first set. It was a little heartbreaking losing that second set, but I thought we rolled over any mistakes that we made in the third set.”

The Bulldogs then outscored the Indians 4-1, that included an ace from senior outside hitter Katie Treadway.

“When I see everyone giving 100 percent effort, even of we make little mistakes, honestly, it’s fulfilling and I feel proud of my team and it feels good,” said Treadway, who ended the match with 13 digs, six kills and three aces. “Sometimes it’s hard to get everyone on the same page and get the same energy. But we try our best to keep everyone engaged, to keep everyone in the game, but sometimes it gets a little messy.”

Treadway’s bullet made it 24-21, but Burroughs went on a 5-0 blitz with junior outside hitter Catie Virtue (eight kills) collecting three spikes while sophomore middle blocker Bella Lomet added a kill and a block that sealed the set.

The first set was tied 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, but the Bulldogs marched in front 9-5 on Treadway’s kill.

Another laser from Treadway pushed the lead to 14-6 and a blast from junior middle blocker Bianca Hudson (five kills) made it 16-8.

Katie Treadway finished with 13 digs and six kills for Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Senior middle blocker Leah Tawil (six kills with two blocks) added a dagger as the Bulldogs led 18-10 and it became 22-13 on a push from Eskander.

Treadway’s bullet made it 23-15 and when Grote’s ball sailed out of bounds, Burbank led 24-15. Grote’s swing then hit the net for the final point.

Like the initial frame, the third set was tight early with the score being knotted 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3 before the Indians seized control 7-5 on a stuff from junior outside hitter Camila Palma.

A tapper from Virtue made it 10-7 as the Bulldogs needed time out. Virtue’s back-to-back kills made it 12-9.

Grote’s tapper pushed the margin to 15-12 and four kills and a block by Grote made it 22-13. Grote’s kill gave the Indians a 24-14 lead and an errant serve secured the set.

The fourth set was runaway from the outset as the Indians led 8-1 on Grote’s stuff. A kill from sophomore setter Meagan Lynch made it 11-2.

Virtue’s spike saw the Indians dart ahead 16-4 and Palma’s winner made it 18-4 as the Bulldogs needed time.

Palma’s kill extended Burroughs’ lead to 19-7 and Grote’s kill made it 21-8. Another kill from Grote gave the Indians a 23-9 edge and a kill from senior opposite hitter Joelle Burras delivered Burroughs the set and match with an ace.

Senior libero/defensive specialist Morgan Bolger contributed 11 digs for the Bulldogs.