Over the summer, the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team has amounted roughly 50 games in a variety of summer league contests.
For some of the players, the experience helped gain valuable varsity minutes and for others, it helped develop mental and physical toughness.
Burroughs forward Izzy Roderick exhibited that notion in the first half, scoring the Indians’ first seven points and going after every rebound she could get her hands on against Verdugo Hills in a Burroughs Summer League game.
Burroughs finished off summer basketball with a three-game winning streak capped with a 36-19 win against Verdugo Hills at Burroughs High on Tuesday.
“Every summer, our performance takes a dip, but I know, in the long run, all the kids have gotten really good varsity experience and they’ve gotten tougher,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “We talked to one of the freshmen on the bench and asked ‘How do you feel? Do you feel tougher now?’ That’s our goal at the end of the summer for all the kids to feel like a varsity player.”
The Indians received double-digit scoring efforts from Roderick with 11 points and Sarai Waddell added 10. Hailey Dowthwaite added five points and handed out five assists for Burroughs.
Players that sat out the final summer game due to lingering injuries included All-CIF honoree Faith Boulanger, Kayla Wrobel, Sydney Martin and Sophie Hawkins.
Burroughs struggled to grab the rebound on the defensive end at the start of the game. However, Verdugo Hills could not capitalize and opened the game shooting 0 for 5 from the field and 0 for 4 from the free-throw line.
After five, scoreless minutes, Roderick drew first blood with a three-point play to put Burroughs on the board. The freshman scored all of the Indians’ points in the first 10 minutes to establish a7-0 lead.
With 6:06 left, Verdugo Hills scored its first basket after starting 0 for 9, and though the Dons crept up a on the Indians’ lead, Burroughs maintained their advantage to close the half with a 11-5 lead.
“I don’t know how to describe it, but I was motivated,” Roderick said. “I came with a good energy. We were all cheering each other on and we were just working together.”
Indians junior Dyani Del Castillo took less than a minute into the second half to score and put Burroughs up 13-5.
In contrast to the first half, the Dons shot 2 for 3 from the field to pull within 13-9 at 17:12.
At the 15-minute mark, Verdugo Hills scored its last field goal to cut the Burroughs lead to 15-11 before the Indians went on a 15-0 scoring run orchestrated by Waddell and Del Castillo, who grabbed five rebounds and three assists in the second half.
“We all knew it was our last game, so we wanted to end it with a bang,” Del Castillo said. “We all just clicked. Like I said, it’s our last game and we wanted to win together as a team. The score wasn’t that far apart in the beginning of the game, so we wanted to push.”
Del Castillo found Waddell on the right corner to score the game’s first three-point shot and give Burroughs an 18-11 lead with 14:41 left.
Less than a minute later, Del Castillo kicked out another pass to a wide-open Waddell on the left wing to knock another three-point shot in for a 21-11 lead.
“We hit a couple of outside shots, which helped,” Oganyan said. “We had three threes in the second half and that kind of helped opening up the middle again to get some inside. Also, we trapped them a little bit with a half-court 1-2-2 trap, which made the game a little faster.”
Burroughs concluded its scoring run with a lay up from the inbound pass to lead, 30-11, with 9:45 remaining.
As a team, Burroughs collectively spread around 10 assists in the second half, with three coming from Del Castillo and Dowthwaite.
“We definitely hustle to go after the ball, so we have several possessions to score and not one shot and done,” Oganyan said. “Defensively, I think we did better in the second half where they just got one shot and we got the rebound, so it helped us with our fast breaks.”