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Dec. 16, 2016

Blair girls basketball rolls over Einstein

by Zoe Friedman, News Editor
The Blair Blazers' varsity girls basketball team (2-0) took down the Einstein Titans (0-2) Friday night with a final score of 55-21 in an easy game for the Blazers. Blair's strong offense and constant possession of the ball helped them build an early lead and never look back.

From the start, Blair used their height advantage to pass the ball around the court and over the Titans' heads. The Blazers scored several easy layups to go up 5-0 early on. Assistant coach Marcus Cotton thought the team's passing helped them offensively. "We had a lot of movement, and that really helped us separate the gap a little more," Cotton said.

On defense, junior Nora Olagbaju pressured the Titans' guard, making several steals and regaining possession for the Blazers. "I think I was really aggressive on defense," Olagbaju said. A few fast-paced plays on the Titans' end made the score 9-4 with three minutes left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Blazers seemed to lose the offensive energy they had in the first quarter and stayed back to guard their basket. Blair's man-to-man defense guarded the middle lane and forced the Titans to dribble to the edge of the court and turn the ball over a few times. "Our strategy was just to play some solid defense," Cotton said.

The score was 25-12 at the end of the second quarter, with the Blazers on top. Despite the score, the Blazers struggled to connect offensively and launched several shots that rebounded off the rim. "We definitely came up a little bit flat in the first two quarters, and our goal was to amp it up in the second half of the game," Cotton said.

Both teams entered the third quarter with renewed aggression. The Titans' defense took a backseat, and Blair junior L'Shana Cobey connected on several shots. "L'Shana did an excellent job in tonight's game," Cotton said. Spurred by Cobey, the Blazers increased the speed of their game. "After half time we were able to be more cohesive as a team," Olagbaju said.

With only five seconds left on the clock in the third quarter, sophomore Nina Boggan scored a basket for Blair, propelling the Blazers into the final period with a twenty-three point lead, the score 39-16.

The Blazers wrapped up the game in the fourth quarter, connecting on more shots while protecting their massive lead. Olagbaju's rebounds kept the Blazers in control. Fouls on the Titans' end gave the Blazers several free throws, which Blair easily made. In the final three minutes of the game, Blair made three baskets and allowed just one Einstein score. The Blazers ended the game on top with a final score of 55-21.

Boggan attributes the win to the team's communication skills. "I think we did well communicating with each other. In the first half it may not have gone the way we wanted it to, but fixing our mistakes was a big part of this win," Boggan said.

The Blazers hope to keep their winning streak alive against Richard Montgomery. "We're moving in a positive direction, and we're trying to keep that direction going forward and keep the wins coming in," Cotton said.



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