BURBANK — For the entire first half and a large portion of the second, the Glendale High girls’ basketball team did an excellent job containing Burroughs standout center Aysia Shellmire.
In the opening half, Shellmire, a senior-to-be and perennial All-Area and all-league honoree, was held to just two points, as the Nitros constantly double- and triple-teamed the Indians’ offensive centerpiece.
However, Shellmire was able to break through the pressure late in the second half, scoring 11 of her game-high 13 points in the stanza to lift Burroughs to a 36-26 victory Wednesday in a Burbank Summer League game.
“Aysia is our main player who has the experience and our main player who we rely on for offense,” said Burroughs Coach Vicky Oganyan, whose team finished tied for fourth in the Pacific League this past season and had a 12-15 record. “If she can play like she did inside late in that second half, then she is going to help us a great deal.”
Along with her 13 points, Shellmire also had nine rebounds, four steals and three blocks.
Glendale Coach Tania Adary said she was pleased with the way her squad played defense against the Burroughs center through the first three quarters of the game. But she worried that the Nitros might not be able to contain Shellmire for the entire contest.
“In the first half, we did OK against her; but she’s such a good player that it’s going to be very difficult to contain her for an entire game,” said Adary, whose team is coming off a seventh-place league finish and a 10-15 record. “I told our players that we are going to have to double down on her, and doubling down might not even work. And you saw she got her points late in the second half.”
Enjoying a 20-14 advantage at halftime, the Burroughs shooters went cold to start the second half. The Indians converted just one of their first 11 shots from the field in the half, opening the door for Glendale.
The poor shooting allowed Glendale to take its first lead since the opening moments of the game, 24-23, on a layup by Amanda Mazanians with 6:29 remaining in the 20-minute half.
Then Shellmire took over.
She drove for a layup to give the Indians the lead at the 4:38 mark and followed that with a jumper in the lane to put Burroughs in front, 27-24.
The Indians’ Sidney Ortega then stole the ball, and converted a layup to increase the advantage. When Shellmire added a layup and hit two free throws, Burroughs had embarked on a 10-0 run and held a 33-24 lead.
“We expect Aysia to pick it up like that at the end of games,” Oganyan said. “She is a leader and we want to her to step up like that with the game on the line.”
Shellmire added a three-point play in the waning minutes.
A tight, swarming Burroughs defense allowed it stay in the game, helping to cause 20 turnovers.
“We had 20 turnovers and 20 rebounds, that’s not good,” Adary said. “We have to do a better job at cutting down on our turnovers.”
Glendale received five points each from Erlin Keshishzade, Kris Zodourian and Ellin Avanesian.