Burroughs forges ahead

BURROUGHS HIGH — The Burroughs High girls’ basketball team is not ready to end its magical season.

Among their list of accomplishments, the Indians won the Pacific League championship — the program’s first title in 33 years — and have set a school record for victories in a season.

In addition, Burroughs has won its first two games in the CIF Southern Section Division II-AA playoffs, a first for Coach Vicky Oganyan in her seven years with the program.

The Indians (25-5) are hoping to add to those accomplishments at 7 p.m. today when they march into a divisional quarterfinal game at host Inglewood. It will likely be a tough test for the No. 4-seeded Indians, as they will take on an Inglewood squad that is 22-7 and is the No. 6 seed.


It is the first time a Burroughs girls’ basketball team has advanced to the quarterfinals in nine years. In 2002, an Indians team coached by Doug Nicol and led by players Sara Larquier, Gracie Coronado and Tulyah Gaines, lost to Santa Margarita, 74-57.

The Indians have prided themselves with playing solid defense all season. Oganyan said her squad is going to have to play good defense as well against Inglewood.

“Every game we tell the kids that it doesn’t matter how good the other team is, we just have to focus on what we’re doing defensively,” she said. “Even if we’re not having a good shooting night, as long as we can hold people on defense we feel that we can still be in the game.”

The Sentinels are coming off a regular season in which they won the Ocean League championship.


Inglewood has powered its way through the first two rounds of the playoffs, defeating West Covina, 97-51, in the first round and downing Newbury Park, 73-47, on Saturday.

For Burroughs, it opened the postseason with a 52-35 win against Mission Viejo and followed that with a 52-34 win against Saugus on Saturday.

The two teams have had their share of common opponents this season. While Burroughs split with Muir, losing, 44-35, and winning, 45-31, Inglewood defeated Muir, 67-64. The squads have also played Redondo Union, with the Indians defeating the Sea Kings, 56-48, and Inglewood gaining a 64-46 victory.

“Inglewood is a Muir-type team,” Oganyan said. “They are very athletic team and they like to play a fast-paced game. They shoot the ball very quickly when they have possession. When they see an open shot they take it, and they rely on rebounding.

“We have to rebound and we have to take care of the ball and the pressure they’re going to put on us.”

Inglewood has an accomplished scoring duo in senior Deajanae Scurry and junior Zhane Carter, who both average more than 11 points a game. But after the two, the team’s scoring drops off, with no other player averaging eight points.

The Indians have been led all season by senior Lisha Elsenbach, who is averaging more than 17 points a game. But Burroughs definitely has more weapons, and a host of athletes who can step up when needed. A good example of that came in Saturday’s win against Saugus when senior Chelsea Rhamdeow poured in 18 points.

The team also has key players in seniors Shannon Kermah and Justice Shank and sophomore Aysia Shellmire.


“Saturday it was our bench that stepped up,” Oganyan said referring to the play of seniors Michelle Zamudio and Kirsten Bacierto. “It’s not just our starters who can score, but when we go to our bench right now they can play good defense and they can score for us. That is great to have.”