BURBANK — A decisive rebounding disadvantage thwarted a comeback attempt by the Burbank High girls’ basketball team in a 53-44 defeat to visiting El Camino Real in West Coast Holiday Festival bracket play Tuesday afternoon.
With the loss, Burbank (7-5) dropped out of championship bracket play and will be back in action Wednesday afternoon at 3 versus either Santa Barbara or a team to be announced.
El Camino Real (12-3) advanced to face either Duarte or Camarillo at Burroughs High at 7:30 p.m. in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.
“There were just way too many second- and third-chance opportunities that we gave up,” Burbank Coach John Wells said. “We would play good defense and make one stop and then two, but they would still score because we didn’t rebound.”
El Camino Real won the battle of the boards, 37-28, and, 16-7, on the offensive glass.
Those numbers helped the Conquistadors to a 41-25 advantage a minute into the fourth quarter after an inside bucket from junior Victoria Brookes, who led her team with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Osanna Tirityan led all players with 17 points, six rebounds and three assists, while Sarah Sarquiz added 10 points and four rebounds for Burbank.
The squads traded baskets until the Bulldogs made one last surge with a 15-6 run fueled by six points from senior forward Sabrina Zakarian and capped on a three-pointer from Tirityan off an assist from Ani Sarkisyan.
The triple came with 1:23 left and brought the Bulldogs within 49-44.
On the next possession, Burbank forced a turnover via a steal from Tirityan, who raced downcourt, but just missed converting a layup. The rebound attempt of the close-range bucket appeared to go off an El Camino Real player, but was awarded to the Conquistadors.
El Camino responded with a layup from Camila Villesenda and an offensive put back from Iliana Camua to finish off the game and Burbank’s rally.
“When we fell behind that much, we knew we just needed to pass the ball around and get shots up as quickly as possible,” said Sarkisyan, who finished with four points and eight rebounds. “I think we did that, but we didn’t rebound earlier and that hurt us.”
The first 2 1/2 half quarters of Tuesday’s contest were pretty tight-knit with neither team leading by more than eight points at any juncture.
Burbank trailed, 25-20, at the half, but pulled within 27-25 on an inside bucket from Sarquiz thanks to an assist from Zakarian with 3:36 remaining in the third.
El Camino, though, began to create separation just as the Bulldogs were looking to pull even.
The Conquistadors closed the quarter with a 12-0 run, with six of those points coming directly on extra-chance points. The second-to-last score of the quarter, a two-foot putback from Brookes, came on the fourth shot of the offensive series.
“That run in the last two-and-a-half minutes in the quarter completely changed the game,” Wells said. “We were down by four and then we couldn’t stop them and that made us have to try to come back from a big deficit. It was just a bad time for a mind lapse.”
El Camino closed the quarter up, 39-25, on a three-pointer from Villesenda, a junior varsity call-up, before opening the fourth quarter with a bucket from Brookes to go up by 16.
“I’m down three varsity starters going into this tournament, so I was looking for contributions from all over,” El Camino Coach Renard Beavers Jr. said. “One of the big things for us tonight was rebounding. We put that on the board twice. We needed energy and effort and we got it.”
Kyra Jacks added 13 points and nine rebounds for El Camino, which also received 12 points off the bench from Villesenda.
Zakarian added six points for Burbank.