Tag Archives: CIF quarterfinals

Burbank Girls Tennis Season Concludes In CIF Quarterfinals

By Rick Assad

When the Burbank High girls’ tennis team hosted Beckman in a CIF Southern Section Division II quarterfinal match on Monday, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say it was a modern day David versus Goliath.

Though David had his day against the bigger and stronger Goliath, the same couldn’t be said for the Bulldogs as the heavily-favored Patriots prevailed 15-3.

The good news is that at No. 1, sophomore Kristina Kirakosyan defeated Beckman’s No. 2, freshman Kensington Mann at 6-1 and also knocked off No. 3, sophomore Christelle Haj at 6-2. Kirakosyan lost to Beckman’s No. 1, senior Ashley Teng at 6-0.

The other Burbank point  was collected by the No. 2 doubles team of senior Krystal Hirahara and Emilie Siraki, who defeated the No. 3 tandem of junior Crystal Kim and junior Jenny Han at 6-1.

The Burbank High girls tennis squad lost to Beckman in the CIF quarterfinals. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

But Burbank’s No. 2 duo lost to Beckman’s No. 1, senior Emily Lu and junior Kayla Cruz at 2-6 and No. 2, junior Gnamitha Naganathahalli and freshman Isha Shah at 1-6.

This was an extremely successful season for the Bulldogs (11-5), who took third place in the Pacific League and advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2003.

The Patriots, who finished third in the extremely tough Pacific Coast League, now own an 18-5 overall record, with their only setbacks being a pair of losses in league to Corona Del Mar, the No. 1 seeded team in the Division I playoffs, two losses to University and one to Northwood.

In other singles action, No. 2 Alice Avedikian fell to Teng at 1-6, Mann at 2-6 and Haj at 0-6.

“We just looked at each team the same way. I don’t look like they’re better,” said  Avedikian, a senior. “I just treat them like any other opponent. They were good. They’re solid players, but I don’t feel like it was my best day today.”

At No. 3 singles for the Bulldogs, junior Johana Faraj lost to Teng at 0-6, Mann at 2-6 and Haj at 0-6.

In doubles action, Burbank’s No. 1 duo of sophomore Bella Lamahna and freshman Jinette Faraj were defeated 2-6, 1-6 and 4-6.

At No. 3, junior Daisy Kim and sophomore Natalie Khachikian, who subbed for sophomore Elza Vardanyan, who injured her shoulder during warmups, fell 0-6, 2-6 and 2-6.

Burroughs Girls Volleyball Can’t Get Past Foothill, Lose In Quarters

By Rick Assad


After dropping the initial set, it became fairly clear that if the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team was to advance past the CIF Southern Section Division III quarterfinals, Marin Grote would need a Herculean effort.

The 6-foot-5 inch junior outside hitter delivered one, but it still wasn’t good enough to push the Indians past visiting Foothill on Saturday as the Knights prevailed, 25-18, 21-25, 25-22, 25-16.

Grote finished with a career-best 29 kills after a 27-kill effort against Los Osos in a second-round match.

The next best was nine kills from senior middle blocker Caleigh Paster, who played well throughout the season and this playoff run.

The swing set was the third and it was a heart-breaker for those following the Indians (22-10).

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Marin Grote, seen serving in a CIF opening-round match, had 29 kills in a four-set loss to Foothill in the quarterfinals. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“We made a lot of mistakes,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “In the third game, we were in command, but then we made four errors in a row. You can’t do that against a good team. That was the difference.”

Foothill raced to a 4-1 lead in the third game with a kill from senior outside hitter Natalie Gray.

The Indians roared back, tying it at 7-7 on Grote’s dagger. But the Knights eased ahead 13-10 on a winner from sophomore outside hitter Marissa Mazurie.

Burroughs came within 17-15 on Grote’s winner, however, the Knights bolted ahead 20-18 on a kill from sophomore middle hitter Grace Cannon.

The Indians zoomed in front 22-21 on a duo block from Grote and sophomore middle blocker Juliana Van Loo.

Real said a lack of consistency was the problem. “You’ve got to be consistent and we weren’t tonight. If you’re consistent, you have a chance.”

The Knights would grab the next three points for the set including a stuff from sophomore setter Eliza Cannon that made it 24-22, and the clincher from senior middle hitter Imani Moreen.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior middle blocker Caleigh Paster (#33), in an opening-round match, finished with nine kills in a quarterfinal loss. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs took the second game and pulled in front 4-1 on an ace from Paster.

It was level at 7-7 on a winner from junior opposite hitter Emily Botzbach and 9-9 on a combined stuff from senior opposite hitter Sophia Rizzotti and Paster.

The Indians would forge a 17-12 advantage on Van Loo’s winner, and would pull ahead 19-14 on Grote’s spike.

Burroughs took command 22-18 on another Grote smash and Grote would end the set and tie the match with a kill.

“Marin played really well and she tried to lead us to the win,” Real said. “She’s tremendous and a great player. We have her one more year.”

Real spoke about what the team accomplished. “They should be very proud of what they did this year. We were not expected to do as well as we did and get as far as we did.”

The opening set was close in the early stages, tied at 3-3 on a winner from Eliza Cannon before Foothill went on an 9-4 spurt that made it 12-7 on Grace Cannon’s kill.

With Gray’s winner, the Knights led 14-8 as Real called time out. But Foothill went on a 4-2 spurt and moved ahead 18-10 on Moreen’s winner.

The Knights took a 21-13 lead on a stuff from Grace Cannon. The lead swelled to 23-15 on an ace from senior outside hitter Remi Lehnertz, before Gray’s bomb gave the visitors the set.

Foothill came out in the fourth game and led 3-1 on Eliza Cannon’s kill and 10-3 on a stuff from Garce Cannon and Mazurie.

The Knights seized control 16-8 on a winner from Mazurie and 20-10 on Moreen’s spike.

Mazurie’s kill made it 24-14 and when Grote’s swing sailed into the net, the Knights took the set and match.

Burroughs’ Winning Streak and Season Ends, 21-7

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


It certainly didn’t end as planned for the Burroughs High football team against St. Francis in a CIF Southern Section Southeast Division quarterfinal match at Friedman Field.

In the end, injuries to four starters were part of the Indians’ undoing Friday before a near-full house, falling 21-7, to the Golden Knights, who registered seven sacks on quarterback Steven Hubbell, who was harassed and hurried during much of the game.

“Both defenses played well,” Burroughs coach Keith Knoop said. “Those guys [St. Francis] are big and they can play. But we accomplished a lot and we have a lot to be proud of. I’m going to enjoy all the great things this team accomplished. This is a special group.”

Hubbell came in having tossed 27 touchdowns and four interceptions, but the Golden Knights, who will face top-seeded La Serna in the semifinals next week, held the senior to 128 yards on 21 of 34 with two interceptions.

(Photo By Ivan Galan)

Senior wide receiver Nick Mercado tries to make a play in 21-7 loss to St. Francis in a CIF quarterfinal game. (Photo By Ivan Galan)

The No. 4 seeded Indians were riding a 10-game winning streak and a perfect 7-0 mark in the Pacific League, but managed one touchdown when senior running back Ash Hawkins scored on a one-yard run with 6:54 left in the fourth quarter that cut the Golden Knights’ lead to 14-7.

Burroughs tried an onside kick which St. Francis recovered at midfield, and cashed it into a 65-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Miles Bryant (11 of 17 for 174 yards with two picks and was sacked four times) to senior wide receiver Jasher Foster (92 yards on three catches) on second and 25 with 5:30 left that made it a two-score lead.

The Indians (10-2), who mustered 157 total net yards, including 29 yards on the ground, had two more possessions, but each resulted in a punt.

(Photo By Ivan Galan)

Burroughs quarterback Steven Hubbell looks down field for a receiver. (Photo By Ivan Galan)

Junior tailback Chance Bell, who was the leading rusher the last two seasons, didn’t suit up after suffering a knee injury in the opening-round victory over Norwalk, nor did junior center Tommy Howe, who broke his leg in the same game. The Indians were also without senior defensive lineman Cole Gurley and senior linebacker Josue Chicas Ortiz.

“If we had those players we’re a more dynamic group and we can do more,” Knoop said. “It might have been a different outcome.”

(Photo By Ivan Galan)

Senior wide receiver/defensive back Robert Awunganyi tries to use his speed against the Golden Knights. (Photo By Ivan Galan)

It was a defensive struggle as each team had trouble moving the football down the field, but the Golden Knights (245 total yards) scored on their second series as Bryant marched his team 42 yards on seven plays that was capped when senior running back Areg Nazarian (35 yards on 14 carries and 19 yards on four catches) had a 10-yard burst and 2:21 remaining in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.

The half ended with St. Francis compiling 100 yards on offense and a 7-0 lead, which made it imperative that the Indians come out strong in the second half.

It worked out that way as the Golden Knights turned the ball over when junior wide receiver Daniel Scott (32 yards on two receptions) gained 25 yards on a reception, but then fumbled which senior defensive back Jarret Wrobel recovered at the Burroughs 36-yard line.

(Photo By Ivan Galan)

St. Francis quarterback Miles Bryant passed for two touchdowns in a 21-7 win over the Indians. (Photo By Ivan Galan)

The drive began with Hubbell’s pass to senior wide receiver Erick Hernandez losing one yard, followed by Hubbell getting sacked for a six-yard loss and a five-yard run by Hubbell which  forced senior wide receiver Cade Borland (26 yards on five catches), who injured his arm late in the game, to punt the ball away.

“With all those guys missing, we had a different mental state,” said Hernandez, who had four catches for 21 yards. “We were playing more to survive. I think we ran out of gas. Stuff happens.”

Hernandez, who hopes to play college football, was pleased with the overall effort. “The defense played really well,” he said. “I think if we had those guys our offense would have been able to do more.”

(Photo By Ivan Galan)

Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop gathers the troops after the game. (Photo By Ivan Galan)

Senior wide receiver Nick Mercado, who led the way with 38 yards on four receptions, thought the Indians were going to pull off the upset.

“It definitely didn’t go the way we wanted it to,” he said. “It’s a different game if those guys are in the game. I’m not saying that we would have won, but it would have made a difference, and we would have been able to move the ball easier.”

St. Francis (9-3) then moved ahead 14-0 with 12.9 seconds left in the third quarter when Bryant found senior tight end/defensive lineman Sean Davitt (six sacks) alone in the end zone with a 16-yard offering.

On Burroughs’ next possession, Hubbell (12 carries for minus four yards) orchestrated an 86-yard march that Hawkins (two yards on two carries) climaxed with a short run, but that would be the only offensive highlight.

Senior wide receiver/defensive back Robert Awunganyi (13 yards on five receptions), who also wants to play college football and had an interception, felt the game could have gone in Burroughs’ direction.

“I was pretty disappointed,” he said. “Those players played hard. We made a couple of mistakes. It was pretty tough to take.”

Senior wide receiver/defensive back Hunter Guerin (17 yards on one catch) had a pick and accounted for 26 yards on seven carries to lead the Indians, who had 17 yards on the ground in the opening half.

Burroughs Travels to St. Francis for Quarterfinals

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


Burroughs High will play its biggest and most important football game of the season on Friday night at Friedman Field on the campus of St. Francis in La Canada in a CIF Southern Section Southeast Division quarterfinal match.

A win and the Indians advance to semifinals, but getting to the next step won’t be easy in front of a loud and hostile crowd, to say nothing of how potent and skilled the Golden Knights (8-3) are.

The Indians own a 10-game winning streak after suffering a season-opening defeat at the hands of Calabasas on the road, 45-25.

Since then, Burroughs has paraded around and past every opponent in its way and has scored 40 points or better in seven games.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior wide receiver/defensive back Robert Awunganyi is a threat whenever he touches the ball. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The offense, which averages 376.9 total net yards, is triggered by senior quarterback Steven Hubbell, who has thrown 27 touchdown passes with four interceptions.

Hubbell has accounted for 1,696 yards through the air and has hit on 125 of 189 attempts. When pressured, Hubbell will make like a running back and has picked up 252 yards with six scores.

Junior tailback Chance Bell is a dynamic and highly-skilled runner with the ability of turning a short gainer into a long one in the blink of an eye.

In Burroughs’ first-round victory over Norwalk, 16-9, Bell, who leads the team with 1,378 yards and 23 touchdowns, injured his knee on the first play and had one carry for four yards.

If Bell, who has paced the Indians’ ground game the last two campaigns, isn’t able to play, Coach Keith Knoop has several others who will try to carry the load.

They include senior Ash Hawkins, who has 252 yards and two scores, junior speedster Sammy Duran, who has 287 yards and two touchdowns, and junior Oscar Perez, who had 40 yards in last Friday’s win over the Lancers.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs’ defensive is a hard-hitting group with 15 interceptions and 32 sacks. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Hubbell will find senior wide receiver Erick Hernandez (35 receptions for 511 yards and 13 touchdowns) along with senior wide receiver Cade Borland (32 catches for 405 yards and four scores).

Other targets include senior wide receiver Nick Mercado (206 yards on 19 catches for five touchdowns), senior wide receiver Robert Awunganyi (222 yards on 11 catches for two scores) and senior wide receiver Torin Harris (15 receptions for 214 yards and three scores).

The Indians’ defense has racked up 32 sacks, 15 interceptions and is spearheaded by a bevy of players including senior linebacker Branden Garcia (nine solo tackles and 54 assists) and senior defensive back Devlin Jimenez (15 solo tackles, 29 assists, one and a half sacks, three interceptions and two passes defended).

Others in the fray include senior linebacker Connor Garden (14 solo tackles, 34 assists, two blocked field goals, five sacks, four passes defended, two picks and one fumble recovery) and senior defensive back Jarret Wrobel (23 solo tackles, 22 assists, five interceptions and five passes defended).

The Golden Knights are riding a four-game winning streak that includes a 21-19 victory over host Warren in their opening-round game, and average 142.8 yards receiving and 134.9 yards on the ground.

Junior quarterback Miles Bryant makes the offense click and has passed for 1,571 yards with 14 scores and two picks and has completed 116 of 179 attempts.

Longtime St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds will have the Golden Knights ready against Burroughs.

The ground game is sound and is led by senior running back Areg Nazarian (759 yards and six touchdowns), while junior wide receiver Jace Harrick has 245 yards and three touchdowns.

Nazarian, who has 1,176 all-purpose yards, has caught 25 passes for 203 yards and one score, while Harrick has 100 yards on 10 receptions and one touchdown.

Senior wide receiver Jasher Foster has accumulated 928 all-purpose yards, including 153 yards on punt returns, 137 yards on kickoff returns and 122 yards rushing.

St. Francis opened its season with wins at home over West Covina 36-24, and Moorpark 29-23, on the road against Monrovia 32-14 and Canyon 35-20.

The Golden Knights then dropped three games including a 34-0 setback at Calabasas, a 27-20 double overtime loss at Salesian, and 27-21 at home versus Harvard-Westlake.

What followed were triumphs over visiting Cathedral 31-14 and St. Paul 24-7, and road victories over La Salle 27-14 and Warren by two points.

The Golden Knights are always tough and hard-hitting on defense and are led by senior defensive end Sean Davitt (49 solo tackles and 12 assists with 16 sacks).

Senior defensive back Tre Polomalu has 35 solo tackles with 24 assists, two passes defended, one pick and one blocked field goal, and junior linebacker Max Jakeway (68 solo tackles, 32 assists, two sacks and one pass defended).

With a win, either Burroughs or St. Francis will be one more triumph away from the championship game.