Tag Archives: Jillian Kukawski

Burroughs Girls Basketball Fends Off Host Burbank 51-41

By Rick Assad

 

Basketball is usually filled with momentum shifts, and it was as a 20-point eruption in the second quarter by the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team helped tilt its Pacific League finale against host Burbank in favor of the Indians.

Osanna Tirityan scored a game-high 20 points for Burbank in a 51-41 loss to Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Kayla Wrobel, Nicole Rumfola and Faith Boulanger each dropped in 11 points in a 51-41 decision over the Bulldogs on Thursday night before a capacity crowd.

“Our league is a tough league,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “If you expect to not come in and have a tough game, you really don’t know what’s happening.”

Oganyan doesn’t mind using the bench and has confidence in that group.

“We always tell them. Be ready to go. If your number gets called and you go in the game, it’s your opportunity to perform,” she said.

Kayla Wrobel (#11) and Nicole Rumfola (#0) battle for the ball. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank (15-13 and 6-8 in league) came out strong and took a 9-7 lead into the second quarter as four players scored, including senior swingman Osanna Tirityan, who tallied two of her game-high 20 points.

Tirityan delivered 14 points in the second half.

The Indians (21-7 and 10-4 in league), who outrebounded the Bulldogs, 41-30, hit seven of 15 attempts in the second quarter.

Burroughs outscored Burbank 20-10 in the period and led 27-19 heading into the locker room.

The Indians, who will likely play a CIF Southern Section playoff game on the road, committed eight turnovers at the half, but only three in the second half.

Emily Monterrey looks for an open player while being guarded by Ariana Farias. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Six players scored for Burroughs, which ended the regular season with three consecutive victories after falling to visiting Crescenta Valley 32-29 on Jan. 22, including Jillian Kukawski, who had all eight points in the second frame.

Kukawski, a senior shooting guard, nailed two key three-pointers and a hoop.

A trey from Kukawski at the 4:40 mark made it 19-14 and Kukawski’s three-pointer with 2:10 left pushed the lead to 25-14.

The third quarter belonged to Rumfola, a senior forward who scored six points as the Indians (34.6 percent on 17 of 49 from the field) forged ahead 40-31.

Rumfola grabbed nine rebounds and handed out four assists while Wrobel, a sophomore power forward, snatched a game-best 14 rebounds.

Kayla Wrobel, who scored 11 points, is shown going to the basket. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Tirityan tallied nine points in the third period for the Bulldogs (14 of 41 from the floor for 34.1 percent).

Boulanger, a sophomore center, had seven points at the half and canned one of the six three-pointers made by Burroughs.

“What it came down to is that they handed us such a bad beating [71-34] the first time we played them and that in this game my girls needed to know that they can compete,” Burbank co-coach Jett Del Mundo said. “We started out well and they made a run and it took us a little while to regain our composure. But then we answered and our will to win was there and we fought.”

A third and final three-pointer from sophomore shooting guard Erika Montoya (nine points) sliced the Indians’ margin to 40-34 with 5:45 left, but Rumfola’s trey with 2:05 showing gave Burroughs a 48-38 advantage.

Neither squad was especially effective at the free-throw line as Burroughs made 11 of 24 for 45.8 percent and Burbank, which hit five treys and isn’t guaranteed a CIF playoff spot, connected on eight of 18 for 44.4 percent.

Junior guard Ariana Farias tossed in five points, junior guard A’sia Morales added four points and senior forward Jhazmin Piitts tacked on one point for the Indians.

Senior center Sofia Aslanyan scored five points and junior guard Briana Castro had three points for Burbank.

Sophomore small forward Jayla Flowers along with senior point guard Emily Monterrey each added two points for the Bulldogs.

Burroughs Girls Basketball Has Few Problems In 59-34 Win Over Glendale

By Rick Assad

 

In a contest that was basically decided by rebounding, the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team doubled host Glendale’s total which led in part to a 59-34 Pacific League triumph on Friday night.

The Indians outrebounded the Nitros 46-23 including 29-14 in the opening half with sophomore shooting guard Dyani Del Castillo pulling down a game-best 11 rebounds and dropping in 12 points.

“Our goal was to play hard. To press. To play fast. I told them at the half that we were dominating the glass,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “The best teams are the one’s that the girls can make the decisions on their own.”

Burroughs is off and running against host Glendale. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Oganyan, who played at Glendale, was pleased with the effort.

“We told them to keep up the aggressiveness on defense, but to slow it down on offense so we can be successful on our shots.”

Sophomore power forward/center Faith Boulanger collected eight caroms and scored a game-high 15 points with four steals.

Each team managed 12 points in the initial frame as five players contributed for the Indians (9-0 and 2-0 in league).

Del Castillo nailed a three-pointer and senior small forward Nicole Rumfola hit a trey for her only tally of the evening.

A 20-point second quarter eruption unfolded for the Indians, who made six of 18 from the floor after downing four of 22 from the field in the first period.

Boulanger delivered six points in the second quarter after making a pair of free throws in the opening frame.

Ariana Farias sets the tone for the Indians. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Burroughs converted 10 of 13 from the charity stripe on the game, while Glendale hammered seven of 13.

Meanwhile the Nitros (8-7 and 1-1 in league) were held to seven points in the second period and fell behind 32-19 at the intermission.

Glendale converted four of 11 from the field in the first period and two of five in the second quarter.

Burroughs, which is ranked No. 22 in the state and No. 200 in the nation by the high school sports website MaxPreps.com, shot a little better in the third quarter, hitting five of 15 from the field and two of two from the free-throw line.

Del Castillo scored six points in the third period and Boulanger, who had recently injured her ankle, added five points.

Sophomore power forward Kayla Wrobel scored five of her 10 points in the fourth quarter as Burroughs made six of 10 from the field.

Kayla Wrobel, who scored 10 points, is getting inside position. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Senior shooting guard Jillian Kukawski had four points and senior point guard Jordyn Jackson tallied three points for the Indians.

Senior point guard Camryn Lotka also added three points, junior point guard A’sia Morales contributed three points and junior shooting guard Sophie Hawkins also tossed in three points .

Senior point guard Ariana Farias had two points with eight assists and five steals.

Sophomore center Sydney Martin garnered two points and senior small forward Jhazmin Pitts added two points.

Glendale made 11 of 32 shots from the field for 34.3 percent and Burroughs was successful on 21 of 65 for 33.8 percent.

The Nitros were paced by senior Meri Chesbishian with 12 points, all coming on three-pointers.

Burbank, Burroughs Girls Basketball Seek CIF Playoffs

By Rick Assad

 

When it comes to girls’ basketball, Burroughs High and Burbank both have quality programs and strong coaching leadership.

The Indians are coming off a season in which they went 23-8 overall and 11-3 in the Pacific League while reaching the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Burroughs lost a key player to graduation in Marin Grote, a 6-4 center, who averaged a double-double in points and rebounds and also played volleyball where she was a standout.

Osanna Tiritan should lead the Bulldogs in points and rebounds once again. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Currently Grote is at the University of Washington where she is on the women’s volleyball team.

“I expect our team to be prepared and competitive in every game,” longtime Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “As usual our league will be very tough. Arcadia, Crescenta Valley, Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena all are returning very good talent.”

It’s always exciting when the two city rivals meet.

Burroughs will host Burbank on Jan. 11 and the Bulldogs will host the Indians on Jan. 31.

The Indians, who are undefeated this season at 6-0, will very likely lean heavily on Faith Boulanger, a highly-skilled 5-11 sophomore center/power forward, who averaged 12.7 points with 7.3 rebounds and was selected all-league, first-team.

Despite being a freshman, Boulanger proved her worth early and was a major force on offensive and defensive.

Kayla Wrobel, a 5-10 sophomore power forward was a second-team, all-league pick after tossing in 5.4 points and 5.2 boards per game.

The Indians will be strong as usual and will fight for the top spot in the Pacific League. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Dyani Del Castillo, a 5-8 sophomore shooting guard averaged 5.6 points and 4.4 caroms which translated into being tabbed honorable mention.

Ariana Farias is a 5-3 senior point guard and will lead the offense for Oganyan.

This job is critical because Farias sets the tone.

There are six returners from last year’s team and they include seniors Nicole Rumfola, a 5-9 small forward, Camryn Lotka, a 5-7 shooting guard, Emily Gutierrez, a 5-4 point guard and Jillian Kukawski, a 5-7 shooting guard.

There are two juniors on the squad and they are Sophie Hawkins, a 5-7 shooting guard and A’sia Morales, a 5-7 shooting guard.

The rest of the team will consist of seniors Jhazmin Pitts and Jordyn Jackson and freshman Noor Fahs.

It’s a certainty that the best player on the floor for the Bulldogs, who went 10-18 and 5-9 in league and are 5-2 this season, will be Osanna Tirityan, a 5-9 senior small forward.

“She does everything for us,” Burbank interim coach Bruce Breeden said of Tirityan, who averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds and was named all-league, first-team three consecutive years.

Sofia Aslanian, a 5-10 senior power forward, is likewise a three-year starter. “Sofia controls the boards and gives us leadership,” Breeden said.

Jayla Flowers is a 5-7 sophomore shooting guard and junior Brianna Castro is a 5-5 shooting guard.

“Jayla is a great athlete,” Breeden said of Flowers, who was an honorable mention. “Brianna is our best shooter.”

Also on the team will be Emily Monterrey, a 5-5 senior point guard, Jasmine Chavez, a 5-3 senior point guard and Roxy Payinid, a 5-6 sophomore point guard.

Rounding out the squad are Dakota Cortez, a 5-6 senior small forward, Adel Bandarian, a 5-9 junior power forward, Adrianna Cabrera, a 5-8 junior small forward and Kim Pimentel, a 5-4 sophomore point guard.

Rounding out the squad will be senior small forward Serlie Pouladian, senior small forward Knar Geghamya, junior small forward Val Martinez and sophomore guard Erika Montoya.

Burroughs Girls Basketball Gets Job Done in Win Over Buena

If anyone is going to knock Buena High out of the CIF Southern Section playoffs in girls’ basketball they have to be doing something right.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs High met that challenge Thursday night and came out successful, defeating the most victorious program in state history 41-38 in first round of the Division 2AA playoffs.

“It feels so great,” said Burroughs freshman Faith Boulanger, who had a game-high 16 points along with nine rebounds. “I’m excited because nobody expected to go this far. We heard they had a really good coach and we were like gosh this is not going to be good. But then we realized we just need to keep calm and our coach does a great job scouting out other teams so we know what to do when it comes to it.”

Burroughs (22-7) didn’t panic after Buena came out pressing defensively to start the game.

“At first we weren’t ready,” Boulanger said. “Once we got used to it and calmed down we were able to handle it really well.”

Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan praised her team for its defensive effort.

“I thought we did a good job defensively because I think they’ve been averaging in the 60s. I was worried about their offense,” Oganyan said. “I have a lot of respect for both of the coaches there.  They have a great team and a good program.

Burroughs will play at JSerra High in San Juan Capistrano on Saturday in a second-round contest.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Buena coach David Guenther, who is in his 11th year as the head coach after taking the over the program from Joe Vaughn, the winningest high school girls’ coach in state history, praised Burroughs.

“They (Burroughs) were prepared. They did a great job defensively. They threw some stuff at us that the kids weren’t ready for. We have a lot of youth,” said Guenther, who ironically is now assisted by Vaughn.” They executed a game plan and bothered us. We just couldn’t get things to fall offensively. She (Oganyan) did a great job preparing them to stop us offensively. We’re used to getting some more points off of our defensive intensity and turnovers.”

Buena (13-10), which last year became the first girls’ basketball program in state history to reach 1,000 wins, gave Burroughs difficulty at first and led 14-9 at the end of the first period.

But Burroughs went on a 10-0 run in the second quarter paced by three-pointers from Ariana Farias and Jillian Kukawski.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Buena fought back to tie things at 21 on a basket by its star player, Gianna Falccochia, who led her team with 11 points.

But a basket by Kayla Wrobel with 32 seconds left in the first half broke the tie and although Buena remained close throughout the second half, it would never be on par with Burroughs again.

Martin Grote had eight points and five blocks. Wrobel finished with seven points, Farias had four and Dyani Del Castillo and Kukawski each had three points.

Burroughs Girls Hoops Tame Visiting Burbank 54-41

By Rick Assad

 

After a pedestrian 3-3 record to commence the Pacific League portion of its schedule, the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team rallied and ended with an eight-game winning streak that included a 54-41 victory over visiting Burbank on Thursday night.

The Indians, with the triumph, are locked in a three-way tie with Glendale and Crescenta Valley, which fell to Arcadia 57-47.

Burroughs senior center Marin Grote scored eight points with 14 rebounds and seven blocks in a 54-41 win over Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Backed by freshman power forward Faith Boulanger’s game-best 23 points, the Indians (21-7 and 11-3 in league) led from start to finish and now await Sunday’s CIF Southern Section playoff pairings.

A coin flip will determine the actual order each team will finish and also help seed the squads.

“The teams in our league are pretty good,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “The coaches are good. It’s never easy, even when you’re up it doesn’t mean anything. The other teams are always going to make a run. I like the way our team responded.”

Boulanger scored in every quarter, but was especially effective in the first and fourth periods.

Burbank shooting guard Osanna Tirityan dropped in 11 points and had eight points at halftime. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs darted ahead 39-29 with 6:15 left in the fourth quarter after junior shooting guard Jillian Kukawski (five points) canned a three-pointer.

But with 4:19 remaining, a hoop from Burbank junior point guard Emily Monterrey (three points) trimmed the lead to 39-34.

The Indians were in front 19-11 after the first quarter with Boulanger tallying eight points.

Boulanger’s total offset Burbank freshman small forward Jayla Flowers, who had 10 of her team-best 15 points in the opening stanza.

“We came out and we played tough. We weren’t over excited,” Burbank coach John Wells said after his team went 11-19 and 5-9 in league for sixth and will miss the playoffs. “We were right there where we needed to be. We played them a lot tougher than the first time.”

Freshman small forward Jayla Flowers led the way for the Bulldogs with 15 points. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Wells noted the game after Monterrey’s hoop could have gone either way.

“A couple of bounces go our way, it goes from five to one,” he said. “The bounces go their way, it goes from five to nine.”

In the initial frame, senior center Marin Grote (eight points) and junior point guard Ariana Farias (nine points with five assists) each scored four points for the Indians, who shot 37.2 percent (19 of 51) from the field.

“I just wanted to come out and play our game and not worry about any of the festivities,” said Grote, who grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds with seven blocks. “I just wanted to come out like a team and play like a team and I think that we did.”

Burroughs was held to eight points in the second quarter with Boulanger and Farias each dropping in three points, while freshman power forward Kayla Wrobel scored two points.

Flowers delivered four points in the second quarter, while junior shooting guard Osanna Tirityan had two of her 11 points for the Bulldogs, who made 15 of 49 for 30.6 percent.

Emily Monterrey’s hoop with 4:19 left cut Burroughs’ lead to 39-34. Monterrey is being guarded by Ariana Farias (#2) and Faith Boulanger (#32), who scored a game-best 23 points. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank outscored Burroughs 10-9 in the third quarter with Tirityan and junior power forward Sofia Aslanyan (12 points and six rebounds) each tallying four points and trailed 36-29 heading into the fourth quarter.

Boulanger’s seven points in the fourth period helped the Indians outscore the Bulldogs 18-12.

Meanwhile, Aslanyan accounted for six points and Tirityan, an All-CIF performer last season, pulled down six rebounds and added four points in the final period.

Burroughs freshman shooting guard Dyani Del Castillo scored four points including a trey in the first quarter and senior point guard Jenny Galvan contributed a three-pointer in the fourth quarter.

The Indians were successful on 11 of 15 from the free-throw line. The Bulldogs made 11 of 22 and were outrebounded 39-33.

Burroughs Girls Hoops Rallies Past Crescenta Valley 50-36

By Rick Assad

 

For one game, youth was served as three freshmen for the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team accounted for 36 points during Friday night’s 50-36 win over host Crescenta Valley in a Pacific League showdown.

First-year power forward Faith Boulanger tossed in a game-best 22 points and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds, power forward Kayla Wrobel added nine points with three caroms and shooting guard Dyani Del Castillo chimed in with five points, all in the first quarter.

The Indians (19-7 and 9-3 in league) avenged a 54-52 overtime loss to the Falcons (19-6 and 10-2 in league) on Jan. 12 and remain in the hunt for the league title.

Burroughs has a home game against Pasadena on Tuesday and will host rival Burbank on Thursday in the regular-season finale.

Marin Grote (#44), shown in a game against Glendale, had six points and 12 rebounds in a 50-36 win over host Crescenta Valley. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

What was the key to Friday’s victory?

“Picking up our pressure. Our full-court press really helped us,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “They kind of struggled against that. I thought it was also important because it tired them out. We made the game faster and they were just kind of tired.”

The Indians trailed 24-17 at halftime, but trimmed the lead to 35-29 heading into the fourth quarter when they outscored the Falcons 21-1 after canning nine of 13 shots from the field.

In fact, so overwhelming was Burroughs that it outscored Crescenta Valley 33-12 during the second half.

“I’m super proud of our kids,” Oganyan noted. “I was telling my coaches we’ve had some like crazy wins. Crazy streaks, but this game is probably up there. This was just exciting.”

A bucket by junior swingman Jillian Kukawski (12 points) saw the Indians grab a 36-35 edge with 5:05 left.

With 4:20 left on the clock, Burroughs then moved in front 38-35 on a hoop from Wrobel.

When Wrobel scored with 3:29 left, the Indians took control 40-35 as the Falcons called time out.

The Indians, shown in a recent game against the Nitros, outscored the Falcons 33-12 in the second half. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“They were determined and poised,” Oganyan said of her team. “They went into attack mode. We got down early. I’m proud of the way we came back.”

In the fourth frame, Crescenta Valley missed all 14 shots from the field with the only point a free throw from senior shooting guard Sarah Perez (nine points).

The Falcons converted 27.9 of their shots (12 of 43) from the floor, while the Indians hit 19 of 41 for 46.3 percent.

Burroughs dominated the backboards, outrebounding Crescenta Valley 45-17, including 23-8 in the second half.

The Indians fell behind 12-7 after the initial frame as senior shooting guard Rachel Dayag (team-high 12 points) and Perez each scored five points.

Del Castillo scored five points in the first period, while Boulanger hit two free throws and finished 10 of 10 from the charity line.

In the second quarter, Dayag dropped in a trey, added a free throw and then delivered the third from three-point range in the third quarter.

Burroughs senior center Marin Grote (12 rebounds) scored all of her six points in the second quarter, while Boulanger contributed four points.

Boulanger tallied eight points in the third quarter including six points coming at the free-throw stripe and junior point guard Ariana Farias added two points.

Boulanger again scored eight points in the fourth period, while Wrobel dropped in seven points and Kukawski had six.

Despite the Falcons shooting decently in the opening half (42.8 percent on nine of 21), they struggled mightily in the second half, making three of 23 for 13 percent.

During that same stretch, the Indians converted 12 of 21 for 57.1 percent, made nine of 11 from the free-throw line and finished 11 of 19, while the Falcons drilled five of 10 free throws.

“There were some things we weren’t doing,” Crescenta Valley coach Jason Perez said. “We weren’t playing very good defense  We weren’t attacking and  breaking the press easily. We had about four layups we missed. Four or five wide open threes. I think we missed free throws. It hasn’t happened to us all year. We haven’t gotten cold like that. The entire team went cold.”

Burroughs Girls Basketball Holds Off Feisty Burbank

By Rick Assad

 

It wasn’t too difficult to figure out that the Burroughs High girls’ basketball was going to double-team Burbank’s Osanna Tirityan and force others to beat them.

For the most part, the tactic worked because the visiting Indians prevailed 54-42 in a Pacific League contest on Friday night.

Even with two defenders draped all over Tirityan, the junior shooting guard managed to pour in a game-best 19 points for the Bulldogs, who had only three players score.

Burroughs junior guard Jillian Kukawski, who scored nine points, looks to pass the basketball against Burbank, which lost 54-42. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“She’s a great player, so it’s hard to stop her with just one,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “The game plan was to try and stop her, try to rebound and limit them to one shot.”

Burroughs (13-8 and 4-3 in league) had seven players score including freshman power forward Faith Boulanger, who tallied a team-high 18 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Burroughs freshman shooting guard Dyani Del Castillo finished with 10 points and seven caroms and freshman power forward Kayla Wrobel, who didn’t score, pulled down seven boards.

Aside from the opening four minutes, the Indians controlled much of the tempo and probably played their best league game.

“As far league, I would say yes, but we’ve had other moments in the season,” Oganyan said.

The Indians’ Ariana Farias is keeping a close eye on Burbank junior guard Emily Monterrey. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs outscored Burbank in every frame except the third when Burbank (8-13 and 3-4 in league) dropped in 13 points while limiting the Indians, who shot 35.9 percent (23 of 64) from the field, to seven points.

“We went away with what was working in that first quarter,” Burbank coach John Wells said. “They stuck to their game plan and took away Osanna and made others beat them.”

Wells went on: “They were running two at her and she did a pretty good job of passing,” he noted. “We got tired. We gotta keep attacking. We gotta do a better job of finding the gaps and attacking.”

Behind seven points from Boulanger and four points from junior shooting guard Jillian Kukawski (nine points), the Indians powered ahead 16-11 in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs actually led 8-0 on a follow-up bucket from Tirityan with 5:20 left in the initial period, but the Indians then outscored the Bulldogs 16-3.

The Indians pulled ahead 24-15 with 3:40 left on the clock in the second period on a put-back from Boulanger.

When senior center Marin Grote (four points, nine rebounds and five assists) scored from close range and 1:59 left in the second quarter, the Indians moved ahead 28-15.

“We ask her to be aggressive,” Oganyan said of Grote. “She has games when she’s not. She did better in the second half.”

The Indians made 15 of 36 shots at halftime and were in front 32-15, while the Bulldogs (32.6 percent on 15 of 46) hit six of 20 at the break with junior power forward Sofia Aslanyan tallying eight of her 15 points.

In the third period, the Indians made two of 13 from the floor and one of four from the free-throw line.

The Bulldogs hit five of 11 from the field, two of two from the charity stripe and came within 39-28 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Indians, who drained six three-pointers compared to two for the Bulldogs, righted the ship in the final frame, making six of 15 and saw junior point guard Ariana Farias score six of her eight points after hitting a pair of three-pointers and Boulanger tallying six points.

Freshman small forward Jayla Flowers tacked on eight points for the Bulldogs, seven coming in the second half.

The Bulldogs converted 10 of 18 free throws and committed 13 turnovers while the Indians hit two of six free throws and also had 13 turnovers.

Burroughs, Burbank Girls Basketball Ready For Strong Seasons

By Rick Assad

When the Burroughs High and Burbank girls’ basketball teams take the floor, it’s with conviction that every game is winnable.

The Indians, 17-12 and 8-4 in the Pacific League, tied for second last season, will be paced by 6-foot-4 senior center Marin Grote and 5-3 junior point guard Arianna Farias.

“Both started last year and are expected to lead the way,” said Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan, whose squad had its four-season run as the league champion snapped.

Grote, who will play volleyball for the University of Washington, averaged 9.4 points, 12.1 rebounds, 4.6 blocks, 1.3 assists and 1.1 steals.

Burroughs getting some practice time with senior center Marin Grote (#44) passing the ball. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Oganyan expects the Indians, who lost in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division I-AA playoffs, to be competitive.

“The girls have had a good summer and fall by playing a lot of good competition,” she said. “Our focus will be being tough defensively, playing really hard and competing every second.”

It won’t be easy, but Oganyan believes the Indians will be in the hunt for the league title. “League should tough,” she noted. “There are a lot good coaches and good teams.”

The Indians will play in their own tournament and then begin league action on Jan. 3 at Arcadia.

Burroughs will play at longtime rival Burbank on Jan. 19 and host the Bulldogs on Feb. 8.

The Indians are loaded with junior guards who spent time on the floor like 5-2 Ayumi DeHerrera, 5-7 Jillian Kukawski, 5-6 Camryn Lotka, 5-5 Emily Gutierrez and 5-8 Nicole Rumfola, who will also see time at forward.

“All of these girls have improved and look forward to contributing,” Oganyan said.

Senior Jenny Galvan is a 5-3 guard coming up from the junior varsity who should help off the bench.

Burbank also worked on some of the fundamentals in practice. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

There are a number of talented sophomores such as 5-5 guard A’sia Morales, who is a “slasher, a good rebounder and a great defender,” according to Oganyan and 5-6 guard Sophie Hawkins, who is “being counted on as an outside shooter,” said Oganyan.

There are also freshmen and they include 5-7 guard Dyani Del Castillo, 5-11 forward Faith Boulanger and 5-9 forward Kayla Wrobel.

“Dyani is a great athlete who is everywhere on the court and a great rebounder, while Faith will be looked at as a scorer and Kayla is a great rebounder and has good instincts for the game,” Oganyan said.

Other first-year players include 5-5 guard Liliana Gonzalez, who plays solid defense according to Oganyan and 6-0 Sydney Martin, who will play the post.

Practice makes perfect, including dribbling and driving to the hoop. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs are coming off a campaign in which they posted a 14-15 overall record and 5-7 in the league, good for fifth place along with Arcadia.

The Bulldogs are 1-2 this season with losses to Saugus 52-47 and Lancaster 63-39 in the Brentwood Tournament and a win versus the Archer School for Girls 49-28 in the same tourney.

Second-year Burbank coach John Wells said “the league is fairly-well balanced and that no team should go undefeated,” and employs a four-guard offense, hoping this will add more scoring and passing.

For Burbank, which begins league action at Hoover on Jan. 3, hosts Burroughs on Jan. 19 and visits the Indians on Feb. 8, everything begins with 5-7 junior shooting guard Osanna Tirityan, who has been a force for two seasons.

“Osanna is a great scorer and a great rebounder,” said Wells of Tirityan, who averaged 16.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.1 steals. “She’s an all-around player.

Tirityan has been named to the All-CIF Division II-A second team twice and All-League first team twice.

The Bulldogs race down the floor during a scrimmage. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Junior point guard Emily Monterrey, at 5-5, will also have the ball in her hands.

“Emily is a strong passer and likes to go to the basket,” Wells said.

Senior guard Sophia Jimenez is 5-5 and will add some offensive punch to the lineup as will 5-9 senior forward Kate Lynn Monterrey.

Sophomore guard Brianna Castro, at 5-4, is a very dependable shooter according to Wells.

The lone forward is 5-9 junior Sofia Aslanyan, who should contribute points and add muscle.

“Sofia is a strong offensive rebounder,” Wells said. “She has a strong post presence, but will be asked to play more than just the post.”

Coming off the bench is 5-4 junior guard Jasmine Chavez. “Jasmine is an aggressive defender and a good offensive slasher,” Wells noted.

Junior forward Dakota Cortez is 5-4 and can be counted upon to pick up stray balls.

“Dakota is a strong rebounder on both ends of the court,” Wells said. “She’ll dive for loose balls.”

Junior point guard Emily Monterrey is 5-5 and a “strong passer and goes hard to the basket,” according to Wells.

Despite being young, 5-5 freshman guard Jayla Flowers will contribute. “Jayla is an athlete and a great offensive rebounder,” Wells said. “She will be asked to guard the other team’s best player.”

Another young talent is 5-6 freshman forward Rukhshana Payind. “Rukhshana is a good offensive rebounder who runs the floor well,” Wells said.

Freshman guard Erika Montoya stands 5-3, but is still able to make herself into a crafty defender according to Wells.

Senior forward Amber Kassens is 5-5 and a relentless worker. “Amber is a good shooter and works hard on defense,” Wells said.

Junior guard Desi Gomez, at 5-3, will also be in the backcourt. “Desi is a spot-up shooter and a tough defender,” Wells said.

The rest of the squad includes 5-4 senior forward Kaylee Rivas, 5-1 senior guard Abisha Noriega and 5-6 senior forward Sabrina Feldman.