"I told them to toughen up," said Oganyan, whose squad improved to 5-1 and will advance to play Canyon in the winner's bracket. "We were getting outplayed and outhustled. I told them to live up to the poster, and if that's your identity then play like it."
Confidence and aggression translated into a more in-sync offense that resulted in more made field goals for Burroughs in the third quarter (seven) than it had in the first half (six).
The Indians ended the third quarter strong, scoring eight unanswered points to cut the Grizzlies lead to 45-39. The momentum carried over to the fourth where the higher level of energy showed in the frame's opening possession.
Davina Del Castillo put in two of her 12 points, while absorbing a foul. The junior missed the free throw, but grabbed her own offensive rebound to keep the possession alive. Brooke Radcliff was also fighting inside, and followed Del Castillo's missed shot with a basket to bring the Indians to within two points, 45-43.
Minutes later, Kamryn Cardenaz tied the score for the first time since it was 2-2 early in the first quarter. Later, Alondra Ramirez gave Burroughs its first lead of the game with a pair of free throws, giving the Indians a 50-49 advantage midway through the final frame.
The charity stripe played a big part in the game, with the Indians making 17 of 28 attempts. The Grizzlies struggled from the line, missing 12 free throws in the second half.
Burroughs would not trail after Ramirez's trip to the stripe, as they overwhelmed Golden Valley with suffocating defense and dominated the glass on both ends to cruise to the victory.
"We switched to a half-court press, and Golden Valley had a tough time," said Oganyan, whose team forced 14 second-half turnovers.