Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Jan. 4, 2011

Blazers fail to compete against superior Blue Devils

by Gardi Royce, Page Editor

Following a promising start to the season in which they showed heart and intensity, the Blazers (3-6) fell to the county heavyweight Blue Devils (8-1) in a game filled with missed opportunities.

Coming into the match-up, Springbrook boasted one of the best teams in the county, having lost only one game to rival Magruder in overtime. Lead by standout Demetric Austin, the Blue Devils were expected to shoot down the Blazers. However the Blazers refused to lie down and matched the Devils' intensity through out the first half.

With senior guard Charles Ruffin returning to the lineup, the Blazers hoped to upset the heavily favored Blue Devils.
Senior Lucas Babinec charges defenders. Andrew Kirwan
Senior Lucas Babinec charges defenders.
Coming out of the first quarter, the Blazers had gone toe-to-toe with the Devils and were trailing by only two. It was their signature scrappy play that had allowed them to claw within striking distance.

As the second quarter progressed, the Blazers were able to execute their offense well, something they’ve struggled with this season, and create open shots. With just under three minutes remaining, the score was tied at 16. Yet despite their offensive executions, head coach Mark DeStefano summed up Blair's issues scoring the ball. “We got great shots, had great execution, but we just didn’t make shots. We had wide open looks but the ball just wouldn’t go down,” he said. It was their inability to score that ultimately doomed the Blazers, as they played well enough offensively to stay in the game.

Coming out of the half, the Blazers trailed 28-18 and it only got worse. Their lack of interior defense and rebounding proved a critical factor as they were out hustled and overpowered the entire second half. Springbrook’s Demetric Austin wrecked havoc on the Blazers soft interior defense, scoring 20 points and consuming countless rebounds. On numerous occasions, the Blazers failed to box out, leaving Austin free to grab rebounds and get second chance opportunities.

As the half went on, the team seemed to be carrying some of their offensive inabilities into their defensive efforts, playing uninspired basketball for the remainder of the game. DeStefano attributed Blair’s lack of defensive effort on their inability to move on from offensive mistakes. “We ran out of steam and we have to keep the intensity. We have to learn that if we are missing shots, that makes everything else so much more important, including rebounding and defense but we were unable to do that today,” he said.
Tucker Canary contributed twelve points to the Blazer-Springbrook matchup. Andrew Kirwan
Tucker Canary contributed twelve points to the Blazer-Springbrook matchup.

A player who has led the Blazers the entire year, junior Tucker Canary, was one of a few Blazers who played with a sustained intensity through out the game. While shooting troubles plagued other players, it was Canary’s drive that kept the game respectable. Whether it was hustling for loose balls, zipping passes to open teammates, or driving unafraid into the lane, Canary proved that he could lead the Blazer offense. While Canary finished with 12 points, his back court partner Charles Ruffin matched him shot for shot. A staple of the Blazer team, Ruffin’s athletic and intense play has been something the Blazers have been missing. Returning from a broken hand, Ruffin scored 12 points while anchoring a defensive unit that needed all the help they could get.

Junior guard Justin Shack reiterated a belief held by many of his teammates. “We played alright but we have to keep our turnovers low, put this game in our memories and work harder in practice to prepare for our next game,” he said.

The boys' varsity basketball team will play their home game on Friday, Jan. 14 against Gaithersburg High School at 5:15 p.m.

Editor's note: Mark DeStefano is the adviser for Silver Chips Online.

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  • s on January 5, 2011 at 6:26 PM
    this title is triflin. how discouraging. smh
  • tuck on January 5, 2011 at 7:21 PM
    how come tuck the only one who try? aint like they not as good as him... this article tuff but true.
    • Locke on January 5, 2011 at 10:34 PM
      Obviously you don't see my mans named Lucas Babinec on the court playing, he plays with the most intensity
  • woww on January 5, 2011 at 8:37 PM
    Why is the boys loss the main article on the front page when the girls won? what sense does that make?
    • sean r on January 6, 2011 at 9:03 AM
      because no one cares about womens basketball
  • brandon nguyen (View Email) on January 10, 2011 at 10:30 AM
    my mans Sean ayy ^
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