BURBANK — A quick start to the 22nd annual Providence Pioneer Shootout final was exactly what the Burroughs girls’ basketball hoped for against Highland at Providence High on Wednesday.
The Indians forced seven turnovers and grabbed eight offensive rebounds to establish a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Burroughs rode its early dominance, as it has all tournament, and defeated Highland, 58-41.
“We’re trying to get better as a team every game,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “I don’t think we look at winning this tournament or that tournament. Our focus is just really on us and we’ll break down film, look at stuff that we’re not doing well, try to improve on things and get ready for league.”
The team’s early pressure set the tone for the Indians, whose 17-7 first quarter cushion put the Bulldogs in an early hole.
“It was a point to pressure and make the game fast and just to attack the offensive glass,” Oganyan said. “We knew they were going to be in a zone, so we knew we were going to get shots. We talked about just being aggressive on the boards after we shot it, so I thought we had a good start.”
Burroughs was actually slated to play crosstown rival Burbank in the final after the Bulldogs defeated host Providence, 54-40, in a semifinal game Tuesday, but Burbank pulled out after the win.
Oganyan said Burbank simply didn’t want to play Burroughs in the final, so the coach contacted Highland coach Jeff Sisson to play in place of their rival.
“Like I told coach Oganyan before the game, we’re always ready,” Sisson said. “I teach the girls that we have to be ready so we don’t have to get ready. It was a late notice call and I know [Burroughs] and I know they’re good, so I just told them we have to come in and do our best. Don’t play the scoreboard, just go in and do us.”
Burroughs sophomore forward Kayla Wrobel was named tournament most valuable player, while senior Nicole Rumfola was an all-tournament selection.
Wrobel tallied 12 points and seven rebounds Wednesday, while Rumfola scored seven points and added four rebounds.
“We weren’t really sure how good Highland was going to be,” Wrobel said. “We heard they were going to play a different defense so that worried us a little bit, but we just stuck with what we do and ran our plays.”
The final saw the return of All-Area, All-CIF and All-Pacific League first-team honoree Faith Boulanger, who had been sidelined with an ankle injury. The sophomore led the Indians with 14 points and added five rebounds, while Indians senior guard Ariana Farias and sophomore guard Dyani Del Castillo each had five assists.
Despite going three minutes without a basket, the Indians were able to jump to a 10-2 lead in the first quarter as a result of their pressure.
“We just came out with a lot of energy and dominated on the offensive glass, so that was really the game-changer,” Rumfola said. “We have a lot of rebounders on this team so everyone just flies in and we always just end up with the ball. We’re very scrappy.”
The Bulldogs battled back in the second quarter as the Indians struggled to score for the first three minutes again, but Rumfola’s entrance at the 5:33 mark sparked a 12-1 run. The senior scored all of her seven points and added an assist in the second quarter as Burroughs went into halftime with a 31-15 lead.
Farias and Boulanger took over in the third quarter, with the senior handing out three of her four assists and the sophomore scoring seven in the frame.
Despite a better offensive output from the Bulldogs, the Indians still outscored their opponent, 17-11, in the third quarter.
Burroughs saw its lead stretch to 20 points, 53-33, with five minutes left before the Bulldogs clawed their way back off of a pair of steals from freshman Eriel Banks.
Providence, the host team, fell, 44-35, to Pasadena Poly in the third-place game earlier Wednesday.