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Indian team plagued again by bad luck

Jeff Tully

Burroughs High girls’ basketball Coach Doug Nicol has to be wondering

when his program is going to get some good luck for a change.

Since taking over the Indians 11 years ago, Nicol’s teams have


been plagued by an unusual amount of injuries, freak accidents and

unfortunate incidents.

This season has been no different for Burroughs, as three players

have been sidelined in the last two weeks.


The worse incident for the team occurred early Sunday morning when

the car senior forward Jayde Dennis was driving was broadsided by a

suspected drunk driver.

Dennis and a friend had just exited the Del Taco restaurant

drive-thru on Verdugo Road and Hollywood Way at about 1 a.m. when her

1993 Ford Explorer was hit.

The driver of the other car -- a 1999 Ford Mustang -- is scheduled

to be arraigned Friday


“I know one of the police officers who was at the scene, and he

said it was one of the worst accidents that he’s seen,” Nicol said.

“I was told that after Jayde’s car was hit, it flipped three or

four times and the car was hit so hard that it was knocked back into

the Del Taco parking lot. It was really, really bad.”

Nicol said Dennis was taken to the hospital with a neck injury and

chest trauma. The coach said his player was released from the

hospital and he doesn’t know when she will be able to return to the



Nicol also said the passenger was also hospitalized but has also

been released.

“We are just thankful that they are both alive,” Nicol said. “From

what I’ve been told about the accident, they are just lucky to be


“For Jayde, we just want her to recover and get better. Playing

basketball is secondary to her health.”

The team has also had to deal with two injuries that have dwindled

the Indians.

Last week, senior forward Cassie Mello was taking part in a

routine drill when she injured her knee. Nicol said Mello might have

broken her kneecap.

Burroughs was first hit by the injury bug two weeks ago when

senior guard Jessica Sandoval tore her anterior cruciate ligament

going up for a rebound during practice.

“No one was even around Jessica and no one even touched her when

she went down,” Nicol said. “It was just one of those strange


The injuries have left the Indians with a thin squad.

“We are playing with nine players now,” Nicol said. “We are

starting a freshman at center and a freshman point guard. Right now,

we are just trying to survive.

“We are just hoping to make it through this week because we don’t

have a game next week. We just need time to recover.”

Throughout Nicol’s tenure, his teams have been plagued with

hardship and injuries. Ten years ago, an Indian player became

pregnant and missed most of her senior season, and last season, star

Tulyah Gaines was sidelined after cutting her hand and breaking the

glass of window she was trying to open.

Those are just some of the things that have given Nicol headache

over the years.

“I don’t know why so many things like this happen to our teams,”

Nicol said. “I just hope they stop soon. We have had enough.”

The depleted Indians have struggled in games this week, losing to

Pasadena, 34-26, and Moreno Valley Canyon Springs, 61-40, in pool

play of the Ladycat Classic at Brea-Olinda High