Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Feb. 13, 2017

Blazers demolish Northwood

by Eleanor Cook, Online Editor-in-Chief
The Blair boys' basketball team (9-8) flexed its muscles against the Northwood Gladiators (2-17) on Tuesday. With a full-court, man-to-man defense throughout the game, the Blazers put pressure on Northwood from the beginning and took advantage of opportunities on offense. After gaining a lead in the first quarter, Blair pulled ahead significantly and never looked back.

Senior forward Julius Cobb won the jump ball to give Blair possession at the start and made a second-chance layup off of a rebound in the same possession to put the Blazers on the scoreboard. The first quarter remained close, however, as the Blazers' struggled with help defense and allowed Northwood to get to the basket. Senior guard Kendall Douglas put Blair into double digits with a three-point shot with about three minutes left. Although Blair did not score for the rest of the quarter, a timeout allowed the team to work out the kinks in its defense and they closed the quarter leading 11-8.

At the beginning of the second Blair was in control of the game, but was still lacking offensively. Senior forward Christopher Larkins made five free throws to keep building Blair's lead, but Blair could not make a field goal until Douglas made a jump shot two and a half minutes later. The shot sparked the Blazers, who started going to the rim more and ended up scoring another 22 points before the end of the half, while holding Northwood to only three points (from a three-pointer) the whole quarter. "They were really small inside, so we attacked the basket, and once you got inside, they had no help defense," Douglas said. He ended the half making a difficult layup and Blair went into halftime up 38-11.

Blair began the second half with a turnover, but quickly picked it up. Although Northwood began playing a full-court press as well, the Blazers scored 24 points, while the Gladiators scored only 12. The scoring was a team effort, with senior point guard Demetri Cooper draining two threes, Cobb, Douglas and junior guard Anthony Smith-Davis putting up multiple baskets.

In the fourth quarter, coach Damon Pigrom cycled in more players and Blair scored only nine points to Northwood's four. Junior guard Bobga Gang scored four of the nine, and the game ended with a Northwood buzzer beater to put the Gladiators at 30 points.

The game was an expected, yet important win for Blair, and the team proved that it can play its game regardless of the opponent. "It would have been easy to lose focus in a game like that but the team did a good job staying focused on the task at hand," Pigrom said.

Coming off of a big win against Kennedy High School last Friday, the Blazers are now on a successful streak, that, should it continue, will give the team confidence as the postseason approaches. "Playing with confidence will definitely give us a boost going into the playoffs," Cobb said.

Going into the next few games, the Blazers want to make sure that they maintain their focus. "When we do what we're supposed to do we can beat anyone," Douglas said.



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