Big first quarter propels Burroughs girls’ water polo past Flintridge Sacred Heart

BURBANK — Savannah Simmons is accustomed to rooting for Burroughs High, not against it.

But Simmons, a graduate and former player for Burroughs, was going up against her alma mater Monday afternoon as the first-year girls’ water polo coach at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy.

However, it was Burroughs that dampened the coach’s homecoming, as the Indians jumped out to a sizable lead after one quarter and cruised to a 13-6 nonleague victory.

“I told our girls just go out there and have fun and don’t be mean because this is my home school,” said Simmons, who graduated in 2012. “It was kind of difficult, but I was ready for it.”

It was a dominant first-quarter performance that set the tone of the match and ignited Burroughs (3-2).

Indians coach Jacob Cook said his team needed to bounce back after a disappointing showing Friday and Saturday at the Burbank Tournament in which the Indians went 2-2.

“We want to come out strong in the early going every game,” Cook said. “But after how we did in the tournament, we wanted to have a strong showing and start out quickly.

“I thought that we went out and played our game. The girls did a great job and stuck to the fundamentals.”

The Indians received three goals and four steals from Gwen Turla, three goals from Alean Orozco, two goals and two assists from Camila Panozo and four steals from Isabel Rosado.

The Tologs (3-4) kept the score tight in the early going, making it a 2-1 game after a goal by Zoe Drobenko (three goals) with 5:24 left in the opening quarter. But then Burroughs went on a tear, scoring the next eight goals to made it 10-1 after one quarter.

Flintridge Sacred Heart converted just one of eight shots in the first quarter.

Cook went to his bench in the second and third quarters and things stalled for the Indians.

“After that first quarter, it was good to get some of our other players in the game.” Turla said. “It’s good for them to get the experience because you never know when we might need them.”

In the second, the Tologs broke a 5 minute, 51 second scoreless stretch with a goal from Drobenko with 6:27 remaining. The Tologs outscored the Indians, 2-1, in the second and Burroughs led, 11-3, at halftime.

The Indians committed eight turnovers and had just three shots in the second quarter.

Eight more turnovers hampered Burroughs in the third and the Tologs got to within five of the lead, 11-6, with a goal from Amanda Ramirez (three goals) with 1:22 left. The Indians tallied one more goal in the third to take a 12-6 advantage after three.

“I was happy with the way we fought back,” Simmons said. “We are improving and you can see that with our play.”

A defensive battle yielded just one goal in the fourth quarter, from Burroughs’ Brianna Meneses at the 4:32 mark. The Tologs missed all six of their shots in the fourth.

Caroline Byer had six steals for Flintridge Sacred Heart.

jeffrey.tully@latimes.com

Twitter: @jefftsports

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