BURBANK — The Burbank High girls’ basketball team opened its first game of its home summer league Wednesday with a corner three-point swish on the right wing against Hoover.
Though the Tornadoes momentarily took a three-point lead early on as a result of their strength and points in the paint, the opening shot from senior Bri Castro set the tone for the Bulldogs, which closed out the first half with a lengthy scoring run to create a double-digit lead at halftime.
Castro scored 15 points in the first half and finished with 19 to help give host Burbank a 35-20 victory against Hoover.
“I think Bri can be streaky sometimes,” Burbank coach Jett Del Mundo said. “What you want to see with her is when she is going to be confident no matter whether it drops or it doesn’t drop. When she’s dropping, you want to see consistency. When it doesn’t drop, you want to see that good poise. I thought we saw both today and she’s growing up.”
The Bulldogs received five assists from Kim Pimentel, while Khyla Lipscomb pulled down seven rebounds.
Hoover senior Hasmik Ter Martirosyan finished with 10 points and eight rebounds and sophomore Paola Gorgeiz recorded four steals.
“What we’re really trying to do is focus on some chemistry,” Hoover coach Stan Watson said. “We’re bringing a lot of new people at the varsity level. We had junior varsity players — we had five of them today — who had never played varsity and they’re sophomores, so they’re learning.
“It’s really just trying to get a sense of who we are and what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to keep some offensive sets the way we work in practice, and, really, just effort.”
Ter Martirosyan made her way down the lane to give Hoover a short lead, 9-6, with 12:02 remaining in the first half.
A pair of free throws from Castro cut the Hoover lead to one at 11:20, but the Bulldogs took an 11-9 advantage two minutes later off the senior’s three-point basket. Castro finished three for six from three-point territory.
“We tried to focus on their shooter [Castro],” Watson said. “We talked about that even in the first half. We were letting her get open looks and she was able to knock them down.
“We unfortunately played to what we tend to do which is turning the ball over. We turned it over and took some ill-advised shots. We started to try to play hero ball down the stretch. Our big girl Hasmik Ter Martirosyan tried to do a little more than she had been doing.”
A steal and a basket from Ter Martirosyan tied the score at 13, before a mid-range jumper from Castro sparked a 13-0 Bulldogs run that closed out the first half with a 25-12 Burbank lead.
“This was our fourth game so far this summer,” Del Mundo said. “We thought we got a little full of ourselves after the first three games and we did not play up to our competition, so this was more of a bounce-back game for us. Were we going to react to not playing well before? I thought we spoke volumes today.
“Bri came to play. She started us off really well and that opened up the game for us. That’s really what we were hoping for, to see how we would react.”
Hoover scored five unanswered points to open the second half to cut the lead to 25-16.
A six-minute second-half scoring drought by Burbank was ended by Erika Montoya’s three-pointer to set up a 28-18 Burbank advantage.
Castro added four points in the second half and finished off her scoring with a put-back two with 3:55 left to establish a 33-20 lead.