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Jackson paces Muir past Burbank

January 25, 2012|BY JEFF TULLY, jeff.tully@latimes.com

BURBANK — When the Muir High and Burbank girls' basketball teams met a little more than two weeks ago, the game came down to the final seconds, as the Mustangs were able to salvage a three-point win at home.

In Wednesday's Pacific League rematch at Burbank, the contest was another tight one through three quarters, with Muir clinging to a two-point lead.

However, an eight-point run to start the final frame was enough to give the Mustangs some much-needed momentum. As Muir was surging, the Burbank offense went cold early in the fourth, enabling the Mustangs to step up for a 50-41 victory.

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It was a productive three days for Muir (20-3, 9-0 in league), which began the week in a tie for first place with Burbank following a loss Friday to rival Pasadena. The Mustangs found out Monday that Pasadena was going to have to forfeit that win because of the use of an ineligible player. The team also defeated Arcadia on the same day.

The three wins, coupled with a Burbank (12-10, 6-3) loss Monday to Pasadena and Wednesday's setback suddenly has the Bulldogs in second place, three games off of the lead.

"With the two losses, I told the girls that we're going to have to win out if we want to get that second-place spot," said Burbank Coach Bruce Breeden, whose team hopes to salvage the week with a league game Friday at Crescenta Valley. "We knew that this was going to be a tough week for us, we just have to end it with a win."

Muir — ranked No. 7 in CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA — seems to have gotten back on the right track after not playing well against Pasadena.

"That loss Friday kind of woke us up," said Muir sophomore Emoni Jackson, who paced her team on offense and defense with a game-high 20 points to go along with 20 rebounds. "That let us know that we just can't play around and we have to play tough every single time."

The game was a close one throughout the first quarter. Paced by seven points in the quarter from Damarie Gonzalez, the Bulldogs — No. 12 in Division I-A — were able to take a 13-11 advantage.

But Muir fought back and grabbed the lead, 16-13, on a three-pointer by Shaela Flynn that capped a 7-0 run. During the run, the Bulldogs missed their first three shots and committed four turnovers. That all resulted in a 24-21 Muir lead at the half.

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