BURBANK — The Burbank High girls' basketball team had a chance to do more than just notch a cross-town rivalry win when it took on Burroughs on Thursday.
With the Bulldogs already clinching a playoff spot and the Indians securing a share of the Pacific League championship prior to the contest, Burbank had a chance to deny Burroughs an undisputed title. A Burbank win would make the Indians share the crown.
Burbank came out like a team determined to throw a monkey wrench into Burroughs’ plans. The Bulldogs played solid defense, jumped out to an early lead and never let the Indians get back into the game. The result was a 54-37 home win for the Bulldogs.
With a win by Arcadia (12-2 in league) on Thursday against Crescenta Valley, the Indians (23-4, 21-2) share the league title with the Apaches. Burbank (15-12, 11-3) finishes third.
The opportunity to defeat Burroughs and have it share the league championship was definitely a motivating factor for the Bulldogs.
“We really came into the game with nothing to lose,” said Burbank senior Jamie Gonzalez, who paced the Bulldogs with 14 points, including converting all eight of her free-throw attempts in the second half. “We wanted them to have to share the title, that was a big thing for us.”
Burroughs, which clinched a share of the title with a win Tuesday at Arcadia, never clicked on offense from the outset. The Indians also had trouble penetrating the Burbank defense throughout the contest.
Free-throw shooting was also a factor in the outcome. While Burbank was 13 of 17 from the charity stripe, Burroughs was just six of 22.
“Burbank played a good game and they were motivated,” Burroughs Coach Vicky Oganyan said.
“I felt like our girls were a little emotionally drained from Tuesday’s game. I think that was part of the difference in the game.”
The Indians received 13 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks from Aysia Shellmire and 13 points from Sidney Ortega.
Burbank set the tone early, jumping out to a 13-8 advantage after the first quarter.
In the second half, poor shooting by the Indians (two of 10 from the floor) enabled the Bulldogs to increase their lead. When Lysette Perez hit a three-pointer with 1:59 remaining before the half, the Burbank advantage had budged to 17, 29-12.
The Bulldogs were able to take a 29-15 cushion into halftime.
The Indians played better in the third quarter. Burroughs battled back, and when Ortega drained a three-pointer with 2:11 left the lead had been whittled down to eight, 36-28.
But Burbank surged back in the third, and when Burroughs couldn’t convert its free throws in the fourth, the Bulldogs were able to coast down the stretch.
“This is the best game that we’ve played all year,” Burbank Coach Bruce Breeden said. “We don’t beat Burroughs that often and to beat them this time is pretty satisfying. I think this really shows what we can do as a team.”