BURBANK — The Burbank High girls' basketball coaches and players must have thought they were seeing a bad rerun when they faced Glendale on Wednesday in a Pacific League game.
When the teams squared off for the first time earlier this month, the Bulldogs built a late lead only to have to hold off the pesky Nitros down the stretch.
The scenario was the same Wednesday, as Burbank was up by as many as 15 points until Glendale whittled the advantage down to six in the fourth.
However, as was the case in the first matchup, the Bulldogs were able to hold on for the victory, this time by 12, 55-43.
In the first contest Jan. 14, the Bulldogs came out on top, 39-34.
Burbank (12-12, 8-3 in league) was playing its second straight game without All-CIF Southern Section senior Jamie Gonzalez. Gonzalez suffered a head injury in a league loss Friday to Arcadia and had not been cleared to play as of Wednesday.
“We have a few players in different positions because of other players being out or just coming back,” Burbank Coach Bruce Breeden said. “That’s why we have some problems on defense sometimes and have problems getting people in the right spots.”
Breeden said Gonzalez has been cleared to play in Friday’s league contest against Muir.
With Gonzalez sidelined, it has forced other players to step up and help carry the Bulldogs. One of those players is Ashley Linda. Linda led all scores, pouring in 16 points.
“We have to step up and get it done even if we’re missing a player,” Linda said. “It is just us coming together and uniting as a team. While she’s out we have to show her that we can get it done.”
Aja Locke added 11 points and 13 rebounds and Courtney Seidler chipped in 10 for Burbank.
The loss is a blow to the Nitros (12-10, 5-6), who are fighting for an automatic playoff spot. Glendale has played well at times this season, evidenced by a 42-38 win earlier against Arcadia, which shares the league lead with Burroughs.
However, Glendale has also struggled with its consistency, and that has led to its share of losses.
“That is our life story — inconsistency,” Glendale Coach Tania Adary said. “We have been battling that from day one. You can’t just come out and score a lot of points one quarter and score a little the next quarter. And we had problems on defense, we just kept handing them the ball over and over.
“We should be playing with a sense of urgency at this point because we’re fighting for a playoff spot. At this point we’re fighting for that fourth playoff spot.”
Glendale got off to a slow start in the first quarter, converting just three of 15 shots from the floor. As a result, the Bulldogs held a 14-7 lead after one. The Nitros committed seven turnovers in the frame.
Even though Burbank hit just two of 15 field goal attempts in the second quarter — along with missing its first eight shots — the Nitros couldn’t take advantage and were outscored, 9-8, as the Bulldogs took a 23-15 lead into the half.
Linda tallied six points in the third to lead a Burbank charge. When Sharis Ghazeri scored a basket with 5:02 remaining in the frame the Bulldogs had built a 15-point cushion, 30-15.
“I was proud of the way the girls played. I thought they played hard,” Breeden said.
Glendale began to cut into the lead late in the third quarter and made a run to start the fourth, which saw the Nitros make four three-pointers. The Nitros cut the advantage to six twice, the last being at 38-32 when Kristineh Zadourian sank a pair of free throws with 5:54 left. But that was as close as the Nitros would come.
Ellin Avanessian led the Nitros with nine points on three three-pointers.