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
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.
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
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
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,
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
“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.