BURBANK — While the Burbank High girls’ basketball team made a number of runs versus host Fairfax, it is the Lions who are moving on after a 57-45 victory Saturday afternoon in the 30th annual Burroughs-Magnolia Park Optimist Tournament.
The victory advances Fairfax (5-2) into Monday’s championship bracket semifinal versus Canyon at 6:30 p.m.
With the defeat, Burbank (4-2) drops into the consolation bracket semifinal against Crescenta Valley at 3:30 p.m. on Monday.
“We played hard, but we were just too cocky,” Burbank junior forward Courtney Seidler said. “We started to pick it up in the second half, but couldn’t catch up.”
The Bulldogs trailed, 40-28, to open the fourth quarter, but sliced their deficit with the first five points of the period after senior guard Irene Pashapour followed up a field goal she drained with her foot on the three-point line with a triple down the floor on Burbank’s next possession.
While Fairfax’s Danah Haley countered with a pair of free throws at 6:39 to put the Lions up, 42-33, Burbank continued to push.
The Bulldogs again responded with a flurry from Pashapour, who hit a 10-footer off an assist from Jaime Gonzalez followed by a layup assisted by Sylvia Granados on an offensive push created off a steal by Seidler.
Pashapour’s layup brought Burbank within 43-37 with 5:02 remaining.
Both teams then traded deuces, as Fairfax’s Angelica Laury drained a 15-footer near the top of the key, matched by an offensive rebound and putback from Burbank’s Aja Locke with 3:48 remaining.
That five-point deficit was as close as Burbank came within tying, however, as Fairfax responded with a 9-2 run culminated with two free throws from Brittany Byrd with 1:54 left that put the Lions ahead, 53-41.
“Yesterday, we had a really slow start against Granada [Hills] and I really emphasized to the team that they had to get out quicker today,” Fairfax Coach Judi Edwards said. “Today, we came and played like we practice.”
Fairfax put itself in the driver’s seat early by converting the first five field goals of the game and leading, 9-0, and eventually, 13-1, at the 3:27 mark in the first.
The Bulldogs’ first field goal of the quarter came on a 15-footer from Pashapour to beat the shot clock at 1:13 in the first to put the score at 13-3.
From that juncture, though, Burbank clawed its way back into contention with a 12-6 run capped by an 18-footer from Gonzalez, who was assisted by Granados, with 1:31 remaining in the first half.
The good vibrations didn’t carry into the half, however, as Fairfax closed the quarter with a 7-0 run, including a last-second rebound and putback by Laury off a missed three-pointer from Jonette Uy De Ong as time expired.
“Our shots weren’t falling,” said Seidler, who scored five points. “We kind of got back into the game late, but we couldn’t catch them because we didn’t make enough shots.”
Pashapour led the Bulldogs with 13 points, while Gonzalez added nine points and Granados tallied six assists and three steals.
Haley led all scorers with 18 points, while hitting all eight of her free throws for Fairfax, which also received solid efforts from Uy De Ong (12 points) and Byrd (12 points).