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Bulldogs still working out kinks

Jeff Tully

A lot has changed with the Burbank High girls’ basketball team since

the Bulldogs concluded their 2002-03 season in February.

Gone is Coach Ricky Hawthorne, who stepped down at the conclusion

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of the season.

Also gone is perennial Leader All-Area and All-Foothill League

standout Christine Kepenekian, who graduated after serving the

program well for four seasons.

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The new-look Bulldogs were in action Tuesday against Glendale in a

Burroughs 2003 Summer Jam game at Burroughs High. Although Burbank

played well in spots, it was defeated by the Nitros, 32-29.

The game was played in two 20-minute quarters with a running

clock.

Burbank has spent the summer not only trying to work out some

bugs, but also trying to find its identity.

“We are still trying to work out the kinks,” said interim Coach

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Paul Kim, who coached the junior varsity girls’ team last season. “We

don’t have any starters back from last year’s team.

“Last year with Christine, it was a different kind of a team. We

had the one key player who we could go to when we needed to. But with

this team, we have a lot of players who can contribute.”

The Bulldogs are adjusting to not having the firepower Kepenekian

provided. Kepenekian -- who has signed to play at Cal State

Bakersfield -- was an offensive juggernaut, averaging 24.1 points,

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13.5 rebounds, five assists and four steals a game.

The team also lost its second-leading scorer -- Roxy Quintero --

to graduation. Quintero, who is playing at L.A. Valley College,

averaged 10 points, three assists and three steals for the Bulldogs

(12-15 last season).

“A lot of the players who came in this season didn’t have a lot of

skills,” Kim said. “But they have really improved throughout the

summer and they are coming along.”

The Bulldogs showed their diversity Tuesday, as eight players

scored.

“That is what I like about this team,” Kim said. “Instead of

relying on just one or two players to contribute, we are getting a

lot of contribution from a group of players.”

Glendale came into the game with a new look of its own. Nitro

Coach Fred Babadjanians said he lost seven seniors to graduation.

Although the Bulldogs shot just 20% in the first half, they

managed to stake a 16-15 lead.

“This summer, I think that is the first time we have had a lead at

the half,” Kim said.

Glendale took control in the second half and had a six-point lead

with six minutes remaining.

However, Burbank battled back and had a chance to tie the score

with 11 seconds left. However, the Bulldogs didn’t get the shot off.

Alisha Brown played well for Burbank, scoring a team-high eight

points and six rebounds to go along with four blocks.


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