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Burroughs girls’ water polo stays balanced in CIF second-round playoff win over Diamond Bar

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Burroughs High girls’ water polo coach Jacob Cook, left, and assistant coach Martin Ortega-Jennison and the Indians will play in a CIF quarterfinal playoff match Saturday against host California.
(Tim Berger/Burbank Leader)

BURBANK — There was an upbeat buzz among the Burroughs High girls’ water polo team prior to its CIF Southern Section Division V second-round playoff match against Diamond Bar at home Thursday.

As has been the pattern for the Indians this season, they usually take time to feel out their opponent in the opening quarter. But against the Brahmas, Burroughs got into the groove early and kept up with Diamond Bar.

Burroughs scored four goals in the second quarter, three in the third and survived a late rally in the fourth for an 11-7 victory to set up a berth in the division quarterfinal.

“They played great and they were putting their shots in,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “It was pretty evenly scored. It wasn’t like one girl taking shots. That’s all we asked for, for everyone to be there on offense. We made adjustments on defense and we’re just glad we came out with the win.”

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Burroughs (19-7), the Pacific League runner-up, will travel to No. 2-seed California High (22-8; Del Rio League runner-up) for Saturday’s quarterfinal at a venue and time to be determined.

Indians junior Emily Callahan scored four goals and junior Angelina Lee added three.

Burroughs also received two goals from freshman Nancy Baylor and one from each from sophomore Clarissa Robles and junior Charlotte Jennings. Indians senior goalkeeper Ema Nathan tallied 15 saves.

“We felt different today because we knew we had beaten them before,” Callahan said. “We were in a situation like this earlier this season where we thought we were safe and we weren’t. We came in with a better attitude this game, more motivated to keep the score up.”

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The Brahmas were led by Katelyn Arauz with three goals, while Julia Longoria chipped in with two.

The Brahmas (21-9; Mt. Baldy League champion) struck first with a goal from Arauz, which Lee negated 15 seconds later to tie it at 1.

Diamond Bar regained the one-goal lead with a goal from Kaylee Robles at 3:46 in the first. But it was Lee again who answered right back at the same spot to knot it at 2 just 10 seconds later.

The teams continued to press each other, but finished the first quarter tied at 2.

“The energy of the crowd was very supportive; everything, just all at once, was helpful,” Lee said. “There was a new warm-up today, that helped us, too.”

The Indians came out in the second quarter with a goal from Callahan to take a 3-2 lead. The Brahmas tied it with 2:43 left in the quarter, but Baylor would restore the Burroughs lead, 4-3, with a quick-response goal.

With 1:30 remaining in the half, the Indians took a 5-3 lead with a score from Robles before Diamond Bar pulled one back with Arauz’s second goal with 13.7 remaining.

Just 2.8 seconds before halftime, Burroughs quickly regained a two-goal lead after Callahan knocked one in for a 6-4 advantage at the break.

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The Brahmas came out to the second half with a chance to cut the Indians lead to one goal with a five-meter opportunity at 5:31 in the third, but Nathan came up with a big-time block against Arauz to keep the Indians ahead by two.

The Indians went back on the attack immediately thereafter, which was capped by a goal from Jennings for a 7-4 lead.

Lee and Callahan then knocked in their third goals, with a Diamond Bar goal from Longoria sandwiched in between to make it 9-5 at the end of the third.

Goals from Callahan and Baylor lifted the Indians to an 11-5 lead to start the fourth. But two Diamond Bar goals in quick succession cut the Burroughs lead back to a four, which was capped by a steal and score from Arauz with 2:08 remaining.

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