Tag Archives: girls basketball

Rick’s Sports Corner: Bri Castro, Burbank High Sharpshooter

By Rick Assad

When the Burbank High girls’ basketball team trotted onto the hardwood, everyone in the building knew that at some point in the game, Bri Castro would launch one of her patented three-pointers.

When the first one trickled through the net, and they did 35 percent of the time during her senior season, the result would be that the Bulldogs student body rose from its seats behind hearty cheers, while the four other members of the squad and Castro herself, were wholly pumped.

At this juncture, fans and players realized that a big scoring game was possible and that Castro would unload the long-ball whenever she saw daylight. And even when there wasn’t much space to shoot.

This past season, Castro, a 5-foot, five-inch shooting guard, set the single game school mark for most three-pointers made in a game with nine.

Beside being a long-range shooter, Bri Castro was an excellent defender. She is shown in a game against rival Burroughs this season. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Castro, who played three years on the varsity, also established the Burbank record for most three-pointers converted in a career.

What made Castro so good at drilling three-pointers was that she was able to get off the shot quickly, especially during transitions.

And let’s be clear, Castro, who could also drive the lane and settle for easier shots, but found a home beyond the three-point arc, wasn’t shy about hoisting her long-range bombs which could turn a deficit into a scoring run or add to a lead.

“My role on the team was to be the shooter,” said Castro, who averaged 12 points per game this past season, which led to her being named All-Pacific League second-team despite the squad not making the CIF Southern Section playoffs after going 10-18 overall and 3-11 in league play.

Castro said that even if the trey wasn’t finding the hoop, she was sure it would eventually.

“I would also go in [to a game] confident that my shots will hit,” said Castro, who averaged five rebounds, one steal and two deflections a game as a senior and drilled 65 percent from the free-throw line.

Whether it was shooting the basketball or coming away with a victory, Castro was always confident.

“Before a game, I was always thinking we are going to win,” she said. “I never went into a game with a losing mentality because that won’t be good for the team.”

The Bulldogs basketball team huddles during a time out. Bri Castro (standing on far right with hands on hips) listens. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

In the other two seasons that Castro was on the varsity, the Bulldogs went 15-13 and 6-8 in league and 10-18 and 5-9 in league and didn’t qualify for the postseason.

As a junior, Castro scored about nine points a game and as a sophomore, she knocked in just under seven points.

While the spring sports were wiped out because of COVID-19, the basketball season was spared the same fate.

Burbank coach Jett Del Mundo spent two seasons with Castro and felt she set the offensive tone for the team and developed into a solid all-around player.

“In the short time that we were together, Bri went from a one dimensional spot-up shooter who didn’t know what it meant to play championship defense to a more complete player who played on both sides of the ball,” he said.

How was Castro able to transform herself into being more than just a long-range jump shooter?

For Del Mundo, it was sweat and dedication. “She put the work in at our team practices and put in time on her own, committing herself to becoming a more complete shooter who can not only hit the open three, but also relocate and attack the basket,” he said.

Del Mundo went on: “In doing so, Bri not only put herself in the conversation of All-Pacific League players in her senior season, she also became the focal point of our team offense,” he said. “I consider her a Top Three shooter amongst every opponent we played this past season and rightfully earned every accolade in her final season.”

Castro, who will attend college, but isn’t sure which, and likewise isn’t positive she’ll play basketball, concurred with her coach.

“The best part of my game besides my shots were my passes,” she said. “I believe I always gave the ball into my posts whenever I saw them available. My defense also improved this year.”

Even without having gone to the CIF playoffs, Del Mundo believes during Castro’s tenure at Burbank, she and the other seniors set in motion better and brighter days for the Bulldogs.

“We are confident that we are building in the right direction,” he said. “Any future success started with Bri’s class.”

One thing Castro enjoyed was helping the underclassmen players. “I liked being one of the team leaders because I loved being that support to the younger girls and always help them if they need something,” she said.

Castro said she will have fond memories of her time on the basketball court. “Looking back at my high school career, I will mainly remember the relationships I built on the court with many of the girls,” she said. “They were such a great group of girls to play with from beginning to end.”

While every game was taken seriously, especially in league play, few were more exciting and compelling than when Burbank met Burroughs because it brought out students from both schools, family and friends, cheerleaders and the bands.

“Playing Burroughs was different each year, but I’ll always remember those games,” she said.

Castro said playing hoops for four years including the junior varsity as a freshman, was an enjoyable experience.

“I liked basketball because it was a fun getaway from reality and I got to be active,” she noted.

Castro also has some sage words of wisdom for first-year players. “Advice I’d give an incoming freshman is to play their game,” she said. “Find ways to improve it. Also to give it their all on and off the court.”

Castro’s father, Steve, was also vital in her enjoyment of the game. “My dad was my main reason for playing the sport, so I’d say he was my family inspiration, but Steph[en] Curry was my inspiration for the sole fact that he can shoot, which is exactly what I do,” she said.

 

Burroughs Girls Hoops Can’t Keep Pace With Westchester

By Rick Assad

For 16 minutes, the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team kept in touch with Westchester.

The same couldn’t be said across the second half as the Comets pulled away from the Indians 59-48 in the opening round of the CIF State Southern California Regional Division III playoffs on Tuesday night at the Indians gym before a lively crowd.

Faith Boulanger accounted for a game-high 18 points and a game-best 14 rebounds against the Comets. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“The game is about turnovers. Too many turnovers. We can’t win when we have them,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said of the 26 miscues.

Oganyan said she tried to make a few adjustments in the second half.

“We just talked how we were down one [at the half] and we had turned the ball all over the place,” she said. “We just talked about trying to calm down and make better passes and trying to get into our offense. Defensively we were hanging in there. I thought we missed some shots at critical points, wide-open layups.”

Junior power forward/center Faith Boulanger had a solid outing, scoring a game-best 18 points with a game-high 14 rebounds for the Indians, who placed second in the Pacific League and also advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division II-A semifinals.

“I’m proud of the way we improved from summer until now,” Oganyan said. “We made some big strides and we’re proud of that. For this group, I guess I’m not satisfied. We have room to improve. Hopefully in the offseason we have the same mindset. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, but not satisfied.”

Sophie Hawkins, who scored three points, dribbling the ball against Westchester. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Boulanger, who fouled out with 4:50 remaining in the contest, scored nine points in the first half after drilling three from three-point range.

Junior power forward Kayla Wrobel added 13 points and collected nine caroms.

Wrobel’s bucket with 2:07 left in the first quarter gave the Indians, the No. 2 seeded team in this tourney, a 9-6 lead as No. 15 seeded Westchester, which owns a seven-game winning streak and will play Viewpoint in the second round on Thursday, asked for time out.

Burroughs (25-8) trailed 25-24 at the intermission, but the Comets, who led 10-9 after the first period, dropped in 17 points in the third quarter for a 42-34 lead as freshman shooting guard Ron’Yae Jackson (eight points) nailed a pair of three-pointers.

Another 17-point frame followed for Westchester (17-15), which claimed the City Section Division I title after trouncing Carson 67-38.

Faith Boulanger, who made three from three-point range, is about to take a trey versus Westchester. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In that frame, freshman point guard Rylie Waugh accounted for eight points including six coming at the free-throw line.

“It has to be multiple people doing multiple things,” Westchester coach Dominic Grimes said of the overall effort. “I told them to keep attacking the bigs. I was hoping they’d get in foul trouble and they did.”

In that final period, the Comets, who played six of the top 15 girls’ teams in the state, canned nine of 10 free throws after making one of five in the opening half.

Waugh, who picked off a team-best 13 rebounds, paced the Comets with 16 points, including 12 in the second half.

Westchester senior center Ariana Grimes, who contributed five caroms and four steals, tossed in seven of her 13 points in the first half.

Dyani Del Castillo poured in six points for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sophomore point guard Savannah Prasad added 10 points, all of which came in the second quarter.

Prasad’s second three-pointer with five minutes left on the clock handed the  Comets a 20-14 edge.

The Indians connected on nine of 20 shots in the first half for 45 percent, but then dipped to 25 percent in the second half after making seven of 28.

The Comets converted 34.3 percent of their shots (22 of 64) on the evening, and made 42.3 percent (11 of 26) in the second half.

Junior shooting guard Dyani Del Castillo scored six points and snared eight rebounds for the Indians while sophomore shooting guard Noor Fahs tallied six points.

Senior shooting guard Sophie Hawkins tacked on a three-pointer for the Indians and freshman power forward Isabella Roderick added two points.

Burroughs Girls Hoops Post 59-26 Win Against Visiting Burbank

By Rick Assad

It was the final Pacific League game on the calendar for host Burroughs High and longtime rival Burbank on Thursday night.

Like the first time these two girls’ basketball programs met, the Indians were too deep and talented and claimed a 59-26 decision behind a swarming full-court press and junior center/power forward Faith Boulanger’s game-best 26 points.

Ivana Razov dribbling the ball against Erika Montoya. The Indians won 59-26 in the Pacific League finale. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians finished second in league behind Pasadena and will now await this weekend’s CIF Southern Section playoff pairings.

“We just want play hard. Our key has been our defensive aggressiveness,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “We’re definitely playing better basketball right now and our team has improved and I’ve gotta be proud of that. That’s the goal to see improvement in the team and carry that into the playoffs.”

Oganyan then added: “Moving the ball. Getting good shots. Getting the right people with the ball,” she noted of the offense. “Just making open shots. Finding each other and playing together as a team. When we play together as a team, usually we get good shots.”

Boulanger, who sank two of her five three-pointers in the first quarter, began by scoring 13 points in the first period as Burroughs (22-6 and 12-2 in league) took a 24-5 lead.

The press by Burroughs was relentless as it forced numerous Burbank turnovers. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Boulanger, who had seven steals, had help in junior power forward Kayla Wrobel, who tallied seven of her 19 points in the initial frame.

Boulanger’s first three-pointer came with 1:22 left and handed the Indians (22 of 59 for 37.2 percent) a 20-5 advantage.

The points kept coming in the second quarter for the Indians as Boulanger, who hit a three-pointer and had seven points along with Wrobel, who grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, tossed in eight points.

Senior shooting guard Bri Castro had two three-pointers and all of her points at halftime for the Bulldogs (10-18 and 3-11 in league), who trailed 35-11 and will miss the postseason after finishing tied for sixth in the league.

Boulanger came out and nailed a pair of three-pointers in the third period while Wrobel canned two baskets as the Indians extended their advantage to 51-13 heading into the fourth quarter.

Rachel Little is being guarded by Christina Ohanians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

With such a commanding lead, Oganyan rested her starters in the fourth quarter.

Oganyan began taking out her starters late in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs (eight of 31 for 25.8 percent) took advantage and outscored the hosts 13-8 in the fourth quarter as sophomore point guard Alle Tarvirdi scored six of her team-high nine points.

“The season comes to an end, but we continue to build,” first-year Burbank coach Jett Del Mundo said. “This senior class helped define how we grow. Now we have seven veterans ready to keep moving forward. We will take a moment to honor all of the accomplishments of the 2020 season. But look to the next chapter in our young program.”

Sophomore shooting guard Noor Fahs contributed two points, but also added eight caroms and five steals for the Indians.

Sophomore shooting guard Sarai Waddell canned a trey for Burroughs, while junior shooting guard Dyani Del Castillo, junior center Sydney Martin, junior point guard Lauren Lucas and freshman point guard Rachel Little, all scored two points and sophomore point guard Stephanie Wilson added one point.

Burbank sophomore guard Christina Ohanians finished with three points. Senior power forward Adriana Cabrera, sophomore small forward Emily Megerdichian, sophomore center Tabitha Cruz and freshman power forward Karen Casillas, all contributed two points for the Bulldogs.

Burroughs Girls Basketball Takes Out Visiting Glendale

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 four-point advantage and it helped propelled Burroughs to a 52-43 victory.

Burroughs shooting guard Noor Fahs tries to get around a Glendale defender. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“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.

Now that’s defensive pressure by Kayla Wrobel and Noor Fahs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

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.

Faith Boulanger looks to pass the basketball to Kayla Wrobel. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

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.

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.

Burroughs Girls Hoops Waltz Past Notre Dame Academy, 51-30

By Rick Assad

Shots were launched from deep and short and in between by the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team.

There was enough success despite shooting 26.3 percent from the field and it led to a 51-30 triumph by the Indians over Notre Dame Academy in a second-round match of the West Coast Holiday Festival Tournament Silver Division on Friday night at the Indians gym.

Senior guard Sophie Hawkins scored four points and played tenacious defense. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs hoisted up 76 shots and nailed 20 and made 14 of 43 for 32.5 percent in the opening half.

On the plus side, the Indians collected 58 rebounds compared to 25 for the Royal Gryphons.

“We moved the ball well and we looked for each other and we got a lot of open shots,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “We’re a good rebounding team.”

Burroughs (9-4) will play Santa Monica tonight at 8:30 p.m. in a semifinal game.

The offense was spearheaded by junior point guard Dyani Del Castillo, who poured in a game-best 13 points.

Junior power forward Kayla Wrobel added 12 points and grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds. Wrobel scored all of her points in the first half.

Junior center/power forward Faith Boulanger contributed nine points and nabbed seven caroms.

Defense and rebounding were on display by the Indians in a 51-30 win over Notre Dame Academy. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians outscored Notre Dame Academy, which made four of 13 for 30.7 percent at the intermission, in every quarter except the fourth.

Burroughs quickly seized command and barreled ahead 16-6 heading to the second quarter behind 10 points from Wrobel, who scored nine points in an opening-round 68-40 victory against Santa Paula on Thursday.

Sophomore shooting guard Noor Fahs scored four of her six points in the first period when the Indians made eight of 27 from the floor.

In the second frame, Burroughs didn’t take nearly as many shots from the field, just 16 and hammered in six and pulled in front 33-12.

Del Castillo, who scored a game-high 10 points versus Santa Paula, was the offensive catalyst in the second period scoring six points, while drilling a pair of three-pointers.

Faith Boulanger, shown dribbling the ball up the court, scored nine points and was a defensive presence. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Boulanger dropped in two three-pointers for six points in the third quarter and had a game-best 16 points against Santa Paula.

Del Castillo also had a trey in the third quarter when the Indians made four of 18 from the field.

Freshman shooting guard Ivana Razov drilled a three-pointer in the third frame which accounted for her only points, but handed out a game-best five assists.

The Regal Gryphons shot 30.3 percent from the floor on 10 of 33 for the night and outscored the Indians 7-6 in the fourth frame as Kaylin Chan nailed her third three-pointer of the evening and finished with a team-best nine points.

Brooklyn Jackson also scored a three-pointer in the final frame and finished with eight points for Notre Dame Academy.

Burroughs converted five of 10 from the free-throw line and Notre Dame Academy was successful on four of nine.

Senior point guard Sophie Hawkins dropped in four points for the Indians, sophomore point guard Stephanie Wilson added two points and junior point guard Lauren Lucas also tallied two points.

Junior center Sydney Martin didn’t score a point in Friday’s contest, but tossed in eight points during Thursday’s game.

 

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.

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 Girls Hoops Falls To Crescenta Valley 32-29 On Last Second Three-Pointer

By Rick Assad

 

At the end of the first half and at the close of the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s Pacific League girls’ basketball game, Burroughs High allowed extremely long three-pointers which essentially handed visiting Crescenta Valley a 32-29 triumph.

Faith Boulanger, being guarded by Caity Bouchard, scored just two points, both free throws. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Senior point guard Mari Lee scored a game-high nine points for the Falcons and all came via three-pointers.

“It’s supposed to be matched up and not let anything go deep behind us. We backed up a little too far,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said of the defensive strategy. “We let her have a running start.”

A hoop from senior guard Ariana Farias (team-high eight points) evened the score at 29-29 with five seconds left.

It appeared for all intents and purposes that the contest was going to overtime given that the Falcons had to go the length of the floor.

Sure enough, that’s exactly what they did and when Lee secured the ball in her hands and then launched a 35-footer at the buzzer, just like the first half 30-foot hoop that trimmed the Indians’ lead to 15-12, this one also swished through, but this time it gave the visitors a shocking three-point win that snapped a tie between the Indians and Falcons in league play.

Nicole Rumfola tallied a team-best seven points for Burroughs in a 32-29 setback to Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

With 2:10 remaining on the clock, a basket from Crescenta Valley senior power forward Alin Mazmanian (four points) shoved the Falcons (15-9 and 8-3 in league) ahead 28-25.

The Indians (18-7 and 7-4 in league) responded in kind as sophomore power forward Kayla Wrobel, who scored all of her six points in the fourth quarter, dropped in a bucket that sliced Crecenta Valley’s lead to 28-27 with 32.8 seconds left.

Crescenta Valley’s top scorer and best player, 6-foot senior shooting guard/power forward Caity Bouchard was limited to three points.

One of Bouchard’s points came at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter when she knocked down just one of three.

Dyani Del Castillo dropped in four points for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Bouchard was held in check offensively primarily because the Indians played excellent team defense and also fronted her on occasion.

The opening half of the contest wasn’t filled with lot of points as the Indians outscored the Falcons 7-3 heading to the second quarter.

“They’re all tough losses. I don’t see the difference between this one and the one in December,” Oganyan said. “It’s not like we lost anything today. There’s no league title on the line.”

Senior forward Nicole Rumfola (seven points) drilled the Indians’ only three-pointer in the initial period while sophomore guard Dyani Del Castillo scored two of her four points and Farias also dropped in two points.

Faith Boulanger is shown passing the basketball against the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Rumfola, Farias, junior guard A’sia Morales and sophomore center, 6-1 Faith Boulanger, all scored two points in the second quarter.

Boulanger finished with only two points and had been averaging more than 15 points on the season.

The Indians missed their first four attempts from the field in the third quarter and all four shots from the free-throw stripe and managed to tally six points.

Burroughs didn’t score until Rumfola broke the skid with a basket. After the Indians missed a shot, Del Castillo scored and after back-to-back unsuccessful tries, Farias scored.

The Falcons scored 10 points in the third frame with Lee and senior shooting guard Georgina Kregorian (five points) both hitting treys and led 22-21 heading into the fourth period.