Burroughs defeats Shalhevet 46-41 to win the holiday classic tournament championship

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On the final day of the John Burroughs High School Girls Varsity Holiday Tournament, the Burroughs Bears defeated the Shalhevet Hawks 46-41 in the championship game of the tourney behind a combined 28-point performance by freshmen guard Claire Hackney and junior guard Mariam Fahs. Shalheveet was led by Arielle Grossman and Yalee Schwartz, who combined for 34 points in the loss. The Bears came into the final off a 46-29 win over Trinity Classical Academy in the semi-final round on Friday, while the Hawks overcame Providence 39-34.

The contest started neck and neck with Yalee Schwartz starting the scoring with a 2-point shot and then Elizabeth Amoroso responded with a 3-point shot to give the Bears an early lead. Both teams kept the game close in the 1st period of play with baskets by Mariam Fahs, Valentina Morales, and Claire Hackney followed by a big 3-point shot by Arielle Grossman which happened near the first period of play. Burroughs led by 3 points at the end of the 1st quarter.

The 2nd quarter was still a close contest as Claire Hackney recorded a teardrop 2-point shot to give the Bears an 18-13 lead followed by a 3-point bank shot by Mariam Fahs to increase the lead to 21-17. Kira Kupfernan, Arielle Grossman, and Davina Beneluahyu recorded points for the Hawks to keep them within reach of the Bears. Burroughs led 23-19 at the halftime break.

On the first possession after the intermission, Arielle Grossman hit a big 3-point basket to put Shalhevet within a point of Burroughs. Ashley Martin, Claire Hackney, Mariam Fahs, and Valentina Morales helped the Bears respond with their points to give the Bears a 34-28 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter. The 4th quarter went down to the wire with Yalee Schwartz and Arielle Grosman helping the Hawks get the score to within 1 point before Valentina Morales recorded a clutch 2-point bank shot to put Burroughs up by 3 points. Claire Hackney also hit a big 3-point basket to extend the Bears lead to 39-34. Hackney also nailed down 2 key free throw shots to ice the game for Burroughs. Shalhevet is the tourney runner-up while Trinity Classical Academy finishes in 3rd place.

“It’s a good accomplishment, the last 5 days the team has improved so much which was more exciting than winning the tournament championship,” said Bears coach Vikki Oganyan. Oganyan also praised Hackney and Fahs for their growth in the game against Shalevett and throughout the tournament and she was pleased with how they stepped up their games.

Burroughs improves to 15-3 while Shalhevet drops to 14-5. Burroughs will resume Pacific League play on Thursday, January 4th with a road contest against Muir (Pasadena) with tip-off slated for 5:15 p.m. Shalhevet will start the 2nd half of the season with a road game against YULA on Wednesday, January 3rd at 7:30 p.m.

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