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Guard steps up in crucial conference showdown

AOW: IVC

February 19, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN
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Sports Writer

Throughout the year Imperial Valley College shooting guard Jenny Burgos has been somewhat overshadowed by the other players in the starting five when it came to scoring, which is strange considering usually a shooting guard's main responsibility is to score.

But with other options on the team such as Sandra Ramos, averaging 19 points per game, Jello Moore (14.6 points per game) and LaToya Jackson (13.3), there really hasn't been much need for Burgos to contribute heavily as a scorer.

On Friday, with sole possession of second place in the Pacific Coast Conference up for grabs against defending conference champion Palomar College, IVC needed a big game from someone other than the big three.

With the game on the line in the second half, the Arabs' coaching staff challenged someone to step up. It was a challenge Burgos accepted as she scored 14 points (two threes), pulled down two rebounds, dished two assists and ripped off a steal in the game as IVC knocked off the defending champs for the second time this season, winning 59-54.

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"I think that was probably one of the most important games we've played all year because they're a pretty tough team and are defending champions," said the 19-year-old Burgos. "I think we were kind of afraid of losing to them because we didn't want to lose another game the rest of the year. So getting that win kind of took a burden off our back."

In Wednesday's 82-30 thumping of Cuyamaca, the 5-foot-6 sophomore finished with eight points, two steals and two blocks.

"Against Cuyamaca we were kind of hoping to blow them out again, but we didn't go in with a big head," said Burgos, whose team beat Cuyamaca 99-44 earlier this year. "They weren't the strongest team, so we took advantage of them. In that game it gave the whole team a chance to play, not just the usual five starters, which I like."

With the two wins last week, the Arabs improved to 6-2 in the PCC with two games remaining, against Grossmont on Wednesday and Southwestern on Friday.

While Burgos and her teammates already had their way with both teams earlier this year, beating both by an average of 24 points, she knows each squad will be looking to salvage their seasons by knocking off IVC.

"I think these games this week, both teams are going to want to take us out. I know beating us will make their seasons … and it'll make Palomar's season, too," said Burgos, whose squad now is a game ahead of Palomar in the PCC standings.

For IVC to be successful, Burgos knows she will have to contribute more on the offensive end, as she did Friday.

"I think all year I've been hesitating to shoot because I really didn't want to be selfish. I know that I'm supposed to make plays and just get the ball to the big girls," said Burgos. "But the last game really boosted my confidence. So now I'm going to do what I can and just look to score more to help the team as much as I can."

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