The Pacific League recently released its annual All-League lists and dozens of athletes from Burbank and John Burroughs high schools were recognized.
The biggest honor went to Carter Cotrell, who was named the league’s Player of the Year after helping the Burroughs boys’ volleyball team claim the league championship and reach the CIF Southern Section Division 2 quarterfinals. His teammates Kade McGovern, who was an All-CIF first-team selection, and Justin Burras made the All-League first team, and Chris Johnson and Cole Kvarda earned spots on the second team. Michael Cutone received an honorable mention.
It was the appointed hour for the tipoff of the Burroughs High girls’ basketball playoff semifinal hosting Cajon High of San Bernardino. The teams were warmed up and ready. However, there were no officials. It seems the CIF had neglected to assign any.
As a set of neutral officials were summoned, the teams casually kept warm before an old-fashioned, schoolyard game of H-O-R-S-E broke out between the two schools’ head coaches.
After a 90-minute delay, the referees arrived and the contest got underway.
Senior designated hitter Devin LeClair capped off a seven-run second inning with a towering grand slam over the right field fence and the Burbank High School’s baseball team never looked back, handing Baldwin Park Sierra Vista an 11-3 drubbing in their CIF-SS Division 5 playoff opener.
Burbank (13-5 record) only recorded six hits, but also worked nine walks and took advantage of all four errors Sierra Vista committed on Tuesday.
Kelsey Acosta of John Burroughs threw a complete game four-hitter and the Bears’ defense made several clutch plays behind her to help complete a season sweep over archrival Burbank with a 2-1 win on Wednesday.
“She was incredible,” Burroughs head coach Doug Nichols said of his ace. “It took a few innings to find her rhythm, but once she did, it was over.”
The world has changed dramatically since when the John Burroughs High School girls’ basketball team faced Whittier Christian in the CIF Southern Section Division 2A quarterfinals in February 2020, and when the two teams squared off in the first round of the 2021 Division 2AA playoffs on Thursday.
Everything from the ubiquitous mask-wearing in Burroughs’ Hurst Gym, to the host school’s abrupt mascot name change from Indians to Bears earlier this spring, to the game’s 3:30 p.m. start time to accommodate Burroughs’ senior graduation ceremony that night because the game was being played in late May, would have seemed strange early last year.
But history still repeated itself as Burroughs eliminated Whittier Christian from sectional playoffs the second straight year, pulling away late for a 55-45 victory.
John Burroughs boys’ volleyball was a juggernaut throughout the regular season, steamrolling through league and nonleague opponents alike, with the only exception a five-set loss to La Canada St. Francis, another area volleyball powerhouse.
But Burroughs’ season came to a screeching halt in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 quarterfinals on Wednesday as the Bears were dominated by Huntington Beach in straight sets, 25-16, 26-24, 25-16. It was the first and only time Joel Brinton’s squad was swept this season.
The boys’ basketball season usually allows John Burroughs and Burbank High to get two shots at beating their intracity rivals. However, this season has been so different in so many ways, including a condensed schedule containing just a single matchup to win city bragging rights.
In a competitive contest and high-scoring affair, host Burbank executed on offense to come away with a 90-80 win over the visiting Bears in the Pacific League finale for both squads.
There is a truism in basketball: If you don’t put the ball through the hoop, you will struggle to win games. This was clearly demonstrated when Burbank hosted Burroughs in a girls’ basketball clash of intracity rivals.
Burroughs used a suffocating defense against the host Bulldogs that produced a 53-25 victory Thursday evening in the Pacific League finale for both schools.