SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Fresh off capturing the West Coast Holiday Classic Gold Division championship, the Burroughs High girls' basketball team tipped off Pacific League action Friday night against Glendale.
While the Indians have had some success on the road in recent seasons against the Nitros, it’s been anything but easy. That changed in a big way Friday, thanks to a splendid effort from Sidney Ortega.
Ortega finished with a game-high 15 points — including four three-pointers — to lift visiting red-hot Burroughs to a 50-35 victory.
“The last two years we’ve played at Glendale, we’ve struggled,” said Burroughs Coach Vicky Oganyan, whose team won its eight contest in a row to improve to 12-2. “Confidence is a key ingredient and we came into league on a nice winning streak.
“I’m pleasantly surprised with how we stayed focused and executed early on in the game. It was important for us to get off to a good start.”
The same couldn’t be said for Glendale, which dropped to 7-5 after making two of 26 shots from the floor in the first half.
Burroughs, which captured the tournament with a win against St. Monica on Monday, raced to a 17-3 lead after the first quarter and held a 26-7 halftime advantage.
“We struggled right from the beginning and Burroughs forced us to play catch-up,” said Glendale Coach Tania Adary, who got 10 points apiece from Tara Abdul-Ahad and Kristineh Zadourian. “You need to shoot a lot better than we did and take better care of the ball.
“You do learn things from a loss. Credit Burroughs because they forced us to do things and we couldn’t adjust.”
Ortega, who had eight first-half points, said the Indians needed a fast start.
“Even though it’s league, you treat the game like its a regular game,” Ortega said. “We knew coming in that we couldn’t let our guard down.
“I like the way we are playing and there’s great chemistry. I got some good passes and was able to make some open shots.”
Glendale trimmed the deficit to 32-22 on a basket by Zadourian with 3:35 left in the third quarter.
Ortega than made a huge three-pointer with the 30-second shot clock winding down on the next possession to make it 35-22. Teammate Delaney Nicol then made a three-pointer on Burroughs’ next possession to extend the lead to 38-22.
“Those three-pointers brought our energy back up,” Ortega said.
And deflated the Nitros.
“We cut it down to 10 and there’s still a lot of time left,” Adary said. “They just made those shots after we went on our run.”
The teams will meet again at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at Burroughs.
Burroughs and Glendale will compete in league road games at 5 p.m. Monday. Burroughs will travel to Hoover and Glendale will visit Crescenta Valley.