BURBANK — What had the makings of a nice comeback win for the Burbank High girls’ basketball team turned into another loss in what has been a rough start to the season.
The Bulldogs scored only one point over the final 2 1/2 minutes, surrendered eight and fell, 40-37, to Village Christian in opening-round Silver Division action at the Burroughs Tournament on Tuesday afternoon.
The defeat was the fifth this season in six games for a Burbank squad that returns only two players with varsity experience.
“We just got complacent and stood around instead of moving and cutting and getting to the places we needed to be,” said Burbank coach John Wells of what happened in the game’s final 2 1/2 minutes. “We have to be better than that at the end.
“We climbed back after a hard first half and we just fell flat. This was our first close game this season and we have to react better.”
Burbank will face Ayala or Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in consolation bracket play on Wednesday at Burroughs at 4:30 p.m.
Burbank trailed for most of Tuesday’s contest, going as far as missing a lay-up and short-range jumper within a 30-second span midway through the fourth quarter that would have put the team ahead.
The Bulldogs finally took a 34-32 lead on a three-pointer from sophomore Bri Castro off an assist from senior Sophia Jimenez (seven points) with 3:23 left.
A steal and lay-up from junior guard Osanna Tirityan (nine points, five rebounds and five steals), an All-Area first-teamer, with 2:35 remaining put Burbank ahead, 36-32.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the field goal was their final.
Village Christian answered back with a three-pointer each from La Crescenta resident Micaela Cacho-Negrete and from Alysha Maile Yamada (14 points), with the latter putting the Crusaders (4-2) ahead, 38-37, with 1:55 left.
“This game was filled with ups and downs, but we came through with resilience,” said Cacho-Negrete, who led all scorers with 16 points. “It’s awesome.”
Freshman Sofia Aslanyan led the Bulldogs with 12 points, six rebounds and two steals.
Burbank’s problems were compounded by turnovers as the squad committed three in the game’s final two minutes.
Village Christian added two more points on an offensive rebound and put back from Cacho-Negrete with 1:05 left and then watched as a game-tying three-point try from Jimenez with 2.1 seconds hit off the side of the rim.
“I think we just choked, I don’t know,” Castro said. “We got a little nervous and we didn’t make plays.”
Village Christian led, 14-8, after one quarter and was up by eight points at one juncture before five consecutive points from the Bulldogs brought Burbank within 21-19 at halftime.
Burbank tied Village Christian at 26 after three quarters before taking its first lead at the 3-minute mark.