Jun. 16—After one early 3-pointer stopped the bleeding for Bakersfield High, another opened a wound that Burbank-Burroughs was unable to close.
The Drillers closed the second quarter on a 15-0 run, blowing open what had been a close game en route to a comfortable 51-30 win in the opening round of the Division 3-A CIF Southern California Girls Basketball Championships at BHS Tuesday night.
BHS opened the game by scoring seven consecutive points, only to surrender a 9-0 run that saw the Bears pull ahead late in the first period. After going scoreless for nearly five minutes, Erica Hayden ended the drought with a late triple to give BHS a 10-9 lead at quarter’s end.
Solid outside shooting carried over into the second period. With the game knotted at 15, Sara Shein and Alexis Killebrew hit 3s on consecutive possessions to kick-start the run that kept the Drillers ahead comfortably the rest of the way.
“It feels good when we go on runs,” said Hayden, who had a team-high 10 points. “That’s what makes us hyped.”
As it has all season, the offense thrived on balance. While Hayden was the only Driller to score in double figures, she was one of five players to score at least six points.
While the offense did its part, the defense may have delivered the biggest blow to Burroughs’ morale, as a smothering zone forced 23 Bear turnovers, 15 of them coming in the first half. After the run started, the Drillers didn’t allow another field goal until there was 3:58 to play in the third quarter.
This was in stark contrast to a 55-38 loss to Santa Maria-Righetti in the Division I Central Section title game, where players and coaches were both displeased with the defensive showing.
“We’re tying to get our Driller swag back,” BHS coach Rashaan Shehee said. “We pride ourself on playing defense and we didn’t feel very good about the way we played defense in the Valley championship game. So we took it upon ourselves, our veteran leaders to get one back on the defensive end of the ball.”
With just two wins standing between them and a state regional championship, Shehee says his players are firmly aware what the blueprint for success will be going forward.
“I really didn’t have to say much,” Shehee said. “They know what it’s supposed to look like and they knew (the Righetti game) wasn’t it. They took it upon themselves to come out today with that hunger.”