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Hardwood work ethic

Her dedication to improving her game and her unflappable demeanor on the court helped Lisha Elsenbach emerge as an impact player during her senior season at Burroughs

April 20, 2011|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com

After four years of hard work, hours spent in the gym perfecting her game and hundreds of games, Lisha Elsenbach's high school career came to a close last month.

During her tenure on the hardwood with the Burroughs High girls' basketball program, the senior set records, helped elevate the team to heights it hadn't experienced in decades and set an example of what can be accomplished with determination and a great deal of effort.

With the relentless grind of competing and practicing almost year-round for the past four years, Elsenbach is entitled to her share of down time before she heads off for four years in college.

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But resting and taking it easy is not in Elsenbach's nature when it comes to basketball. In fact, you can find her on many days working out and drilling with next season's Indians team.

"I am working with kids for next year, and there is Lisha in the gym right with them," Burroughs Coach Vicky Oganyan said. "She does all the drills that we're doing and she works harder than some of the kids who are coming back. The thing about her is that she wants to be in the gym, and she wants to work on her game."

Elsenbach said she doesn't mind getting in the extra workouts.

"It's kind of fun for me," she said. "I just want to keep getting better and I really like doing all of the drills.

It is that type of dedication that has made Elsenbach one of the most successful players in the history of the Burroughs program. Under her leadership, the Indians set a program record for wins in a season, captured a league championship for the first time in 33 years and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division II-A quarterfinals.

For her efforts, Elsenbach was named the Pacific League Player of the Year, as well as earning All-CIF first-team accolades.

It is because of that success that Elsenbach has been voted the 2011 All-Area Girls' Basketball Player of the Year by the sports writers and editors of the Burbank Leader, Glendale News-Press and La Cañada Valley Sun.

Although she was successful in previous seasons with the Indians — averaging 15.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.6 steals a game as a junior — it was Elsenbach's senior campaign that elevated her to the upper echelon of area players.

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