By Rick Assad
Defense was very much a priority for the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team which hosted Glendale on Tuesday night in a Pacific League match.
For 32 tough and hard-fought minutes, neither team budged an inch defensively, but down the stretch the Indians were able to make three straight baskets including a three-pointer from junior shooting guard Dyani Del Castillo with 2:20 left for a six-point advantage and it helped propelled Burroughs to a 52-43 victory.
“I was actually very nervous about this game because of the outcome of the last game,” said Del Castillo, who finished with a game-high 18 points and chipped in with five rebounds and four steals and had 11 points at the half. “We were all very prepared for this game.”
The nine-point win may have been a payback for a 47-46 loss on December 10 at the Nitro gym.
“Glendale’s big, they’re aggressive, they play hard,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game.”
Oganyan, who played for Glendale High, then added: “Defensively we just made some adjustments from the first time that we played them to try to minimize how many catches they had in the post,” she noted. “The first time we played them they had too many points in the paint. I thought this time we minimized it. I thought the defensive pressure really helped.”
The Indians (17-5 and 8-1 in league) held a 37-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter as four players scored.
After Burroughs missed its first shot in the fourth period, junior forward/center Faith Boulanger (10 points and four steals) scored.
But then six consecutive misses followed until Del Castillo’s three-pointer made it 46-42.
Junior forward Kayla Wrobel (six points) then added a basket and sophomore forward Noor Fahs (five points with six steals) contributed a hoop.
The Indians shot 35.4 percent from the floor on 17 of 48 shot attempts and made 12 of 21 from the free-throw line for 57.1 percent.
The Nitros (17-5 and 6-3 in league) seized a 13-11 advantage in the opening period behind five points from senior guard Mary Markaryan (eight points).
Del Castillo tallied five points in the first frame to pace Burroughs, which was outrebounded by Glendale, 34-28.
The Indians followed that with a 15-point second quarter and led 26-22 at the intermission as Del Castillo, who had five treys in the game, knocked in a pair of three-pointers, including one that made it 24-18 with 1:35 showing.
Junior power forward Kayla Wrobel tossed in three of her six points in the second period and picked off a team-best seven boards with four steals.
Wrobel’s hoop with 3:10 left in the second period handed the Indians a 21-18 edge.
Burroughs was limited to 11 points in the third quarter as Boulanger, junior center Sydney Martin (seven points) and Del Castillo all scored three points.
Boulanger’s basket and successful free throw extended the Indians’ cushion to 34-24 with 4:41 left in the third period.
Burroughs then outscored Glendale 15-11 in the fourth quarter after making four of 11 from the floor and six of 11 from the charity line.
Junior center Areco Orujyan scored 10 of her team-best 13 points in the fourth period for the Nitros, who made three of 10 from the field and five of nine at the free-throw line.
On the night, Glendale converted 13 of 37 for 35.1 percent and 12 of 19 at the free-throw line for 63.1 percent.
Senior guard Sophie Hawkins scored six points that included a three-pointer in the first quarter for the Indians.