Sa'Dullah sparks Burbank basketball to win against Arcadia

BURBANK β€” The shots for Burbank High's Yazzy Sa'Dullah were just not falling in the first half against Arcadia.

With a depleted squad, if the Bulldogs girls' basketball team hoped to pick up an important Pacific League game against the Apaches on Friday, it looked as if they would have to do so without its leading scorer, who was held scoreless throughout the first quarter and five minutes into the second.

But the junior hit two shots toward the end of the second quarter and got a hot hand in the third to spark a Burbank comeback. On the strength of 17 points from Sa'Dullah, the Bulldogs charged back, controlled the fourth quarter and sent the Apaches packing in earning a 47-39 victory at home.

The win avenges a 50-40 defeat of Burbank (14-9, 6-3 in league) by the host Apaches (16-5, 6-3) on Jan. 10.

"We only had seven players for our practice [Thursday]," Burbank Coach Bruce Breeden said. "It was tough trying to conduct a practice and I was concerned how we were going to do coming in banged up against Arcadia. It was kinda scary going over things.

"We just played so much better against them this time than we did last time. They just killed us on the boards during that first game and they just didn't get the second shots this time. We played really hard basketball and I'm really excited about the win."

The win still keeps Burbank's hopes alive for a possible league title. Burroughs (17-6, 9-0) was able to survive Friday with a 56-53 overtime win against Glendale. The Indians have a one-game lead on Crescenta Valley (17-7, 8-1) and a three-game lead on Burbank and Arcadia.

One of the keys for Burbank against Arcadia was it limited the Apaches' leading scorer, Ciera Benton, to just 10 points.

"She is a good player, but we just had a plan to box her out and try and not let her have the ball as much," Sa'Dullah said. "I think we did pretty good against her."

Benton did grab 15 rebounds.

Both teams suffered from shooting woes in the first quarter, with Burbank converting just three of 15 shots from the field and Arcadia making three of its 12 attempts. At the end of one, the Apaches had a 10-6 lead. Sa'Dullah and Benton didn't score in the first frame.

The Apaches came out and played better to start the second quarter and when Jacklyn Tran sank a free throw with 4:07 left, Arcadia had jumped out to a nine-point lead. It was at that point when the Bulldogs seemed to wake up.

With Sa'Dullah leading the way with two baskets, the Bulldogs outscored the Apaches, 10-0, to close out the quarter and went into the half with an 18-17 lead.

"It was at that point in the second quarter where we finally started to figure things out," Breeden said. "It took us a little time, but I thought we started playing a lot better and we started stepping up."

Arcadia grabbed brief leads in the third at 19-18 and 23-20, but Sa'Dullah made sure the leads were short-lived. The junior scored 10 points in the third, including two long three-pointers.

"The shots just weren't falling for me in the first half, but I just figured I just have to keep shooting," said Sa'Dullah, who also had 11 rebounds and four steals. "I just had to step up for the team. When I saw the open shot I just took it."

Despite her exploits in the third, the other Burbank players accounted for just two points in the stanza and the Bulldogs went into the fourth with just a one-possession lead, 30-28.

After the score was tied at 32 with 6:11 remaining in the game, Burbank went on an 8-3 run and the Apaches could never recover down the stretch.

Sharis Ghazeri had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Farima Cisneros added 10 points for Burbank.

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