BURBANK — Once Davina Del Castillo stepped onto the court Friday night, she was set to shoulder the majority of the defensive load for the Burroughs High girls' basketball team.
Leading a swarming defense, Del Castillo helped set the tone early and keep the Indians tied for first in the Pacific League with Arcadia.
“Defense is a big part of my game and it gets me pumped up,” said Del Castillo, a sophomore guard, who added three assists and three blocks to help Burroughs improve to 19-3, 8-1 in league. “This was a big game and we knew we had to be ready.
“[Burroughs Coach Vicky Oganyan] said I should play up in a defensive press and I got the hang of it.”
Burroughs, ranked seventh in the latest CIF Southern Section Division I-A poll, swept the two-game season series against Glendale (12-8, 5-4). The Nitros entered the contest having won five of their previous seven games.
Oganyan praised Del Castillo’s effort.
“She’s by far our best defensive player,” Oganyan said. “She leads the team in steals and assists and, you add 10 points from her, and that’s big.”
The Indians raced to a 10-3 lead on a layup by Jakarra Waddell with 4:06 left in the first quarter. Burroughs recorded five first-quarter steals to grab a 16-5 advantage.
“We did a good job pressing on defense and being active throughout,” said Oganyan, who got 16 points from Aysia Shellmire. “We made Glendale make quick decisions off the dribble and we had a lot of confidence.”
Glendale tried to chip away at Burroughs’ 26-11 halftime lead, but could get no closer than 48-39 with nearly three minutes left in the fourth quarter.
The Nitros received 13 points and 10 rebounds from Kristina Sahakian. They also got 10 points from Kristineh Zadourian and eight from Erlin Keshishzadeh.
“We had a game plan of passing through their defense and limiting the dribble,” Glendale Coach Tania Adary said. “We went away from it.
“Credit Burroughs for their big players stepping up. They were ready to play. I’m happy with our effort, but it’s hard when you have to play catch-up like that.”
Burroughs got eight points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals from Waddell.
Delaney Nicol of Burroughs hit a jump shot as time expired in the first half to make it 26-11.
Sahakian trimmed the deficit to 30-20 on a layup with 2:36 to play in the third quarter.