BURROUGHS HIGH — With its summer league season dwindling down, the Burbank girls' basketball team is looking to finish strong in hopes of repeating last year's memorable, and record-breaking, run.
And with four starters returning, Coach Bruce Breeden is optimistic that his team will be ready for another fine campaign.
Not looking too far ahead, though, Tuesday afternoon's tilt with Saugus in the team's latest summer league game at Burroughs High saw the Bulldogs play to a sloppy in the first half before putting it together in the second half en route to a 40-24 victory.
"We came out in a zone in the first half, and the girls got a little lazy," said Breeden, who coached the Bulldogs to the CIF Southern Section Division 1-A semifinals and to the program's first bid in the state tournament last season. "We switched to man-to-man in the second half and got turnovers, run outs and easier baskets."
Burbank played without All-CIF second-teamer Jamie Gonzalez again. Breeden said he hopes to get the entire team, including Gonzalez, back together for the team's final six summer games.
Playing against a Saugus team who beat them in last year's West Coast Holiday Festival, 54-48, the Bulldogs endured a first-half riddled with turnovers from both sides and 21 total points combined. The second half, however, saw the Bulldogs pull away thanks to a more potent offense showing.
Despite never trailing and holding Saugus to eight first-half points, the Bulldogs couldn't get it going on offense and led just 13-10 early in the second half.
But a stretch of three consecutive plays early in the second 20-minute frame saw senior Courtney Seidler make her presence felt on both ends, give her team the needed momentum and separate the Bulldogs from their counterparts for good.
With her team leading, 20-14, Seidler scored two of her seven points on a basket five feet out after grabbing an offensive rebound. She continued her inside dominance by recording a block on the ensuing possession. Back on the offensive end, Seidler showed her passing skills as she fed Ashley Linda for a layup to give the Bulldogs a 24-14 lead.
Burbank wouldn't trail by less than double-digits thereafter, and scored 10 of the game's next 12 points for a comfortable 34-16 advantage.
Linda led the Bulldogs in scoring with 10 points — all in the second half. The team received balanced scoring from Lysette Perez with nine and Sharis Ghazeri and Seidler pouring seven apiece.
"Understanding roles," said Breeden when asked what he hopes the team will solidify in the remaining summer games. "They need to understand what this team needs from each of them and what we're expecting from each player. I think we'll get that."