The Burke girls' basketball team earned its first win of the season Wednesday night against Madison Park. After a slow start, sharp 3-point shooting and solid defense propelled the Bulldogs to a 27-20 victory on Madison Park's home court.
"I think we stuck together. We played hard from the beginning," Burke junior Naomi Tapia said. "We knew we could get a win out of this, so we just tried as hard as we could and played together."
Madison Park led, 6-4, after a low-scoring first quarter. Both teams played tight defense throughout the opening minutes, forcing the opponent to settle for unfavorable perimeter shots.
Burke's offense came alive in the second quarter. Sophomore Emani Roman nailed a 3-pointer following 5 straight points from Tapia to begin the frame, giving the Bulldogs a 12-6 lead.
Another 3 from Roman and accurate free throw shooting from junior Emanyi Smith extended Burke's lead. The Bulldogs held a 17-11 advantage at the end of the first half, but the team learned the hard way earlier this season that no lead is safe.
On Dec. 16, Burke led Madison Park by 16 points at halftime, but the Cardinals fought back to earn a 36-30 come-from-behind win.
"We had the lead at halftime last game and we had the lead this game also," Burke coach Christopher Bishop said. "I told them not to get too ahead of themselves, don't be too cocky. There's still a second half, you got to play it all the way through."
The Bulldogs refused to let history repeat itself and came out strong in the second half. Burke's stifling defense did not allow a point in the third quarter, and although Madison Park's offense was firing on all cylinders in the fourth, Burke held on for the win.
Tapia scored 9 points, Roman finished with 8 and Smith chipped in 7.
"It feels good actually," Roman said, referencing the team's first victory. "We worked hard for it so hard work pays off."
Although their record may be just 1-9, Bishop said he is pleased with everyone on the team for their improvement over the course of the season. He said the Bulldogs have been working specifically on improving ball-handling skills and reducing turnovers.
"It's a team effort," he said. "Everybody comes, improves during the practices. I work with them individually on individual skills. It's a team game, put it all together."
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- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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