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Feb. 13, 2017

Blair varsity boys basketball wins against Clarksburg

by Amy Forsbacka, Editor-in-Chief
Blair's varsity boys' basketball team won 56-50 against Clarksburg on Friday night. Sophomore forward Ethan Ellis scored 13 points and senior center Julius Cobb dunked twice and scored 21 points.

Blair started off slowly in the first quarter by going down by a score of 9-8. With one minute left in the first quarter Clarksburg made a basket, then stole the ball from Blair and made another basket. Blair came back and tied it 8-8 and stepped up their defense. Heading into the game, the Blazers had a plan in place. "Our game plan was to put on some pressure and beat their zone down the floor, and on defense we had to stop their transition," said senior Demetri Cooper.

In the second quarter Blair took a timeout with the score tied at 11. Blair pulled a slight lead after the timeout at 17-16 and maintained that lead, staying ahead 21-19 at the half. Clarksburg is a good team, so the Blazers knew they had their work cut out for them. "We knew Clarksburg is a very good team. Number three is very good so we were concerned about him. We did a pretty good job limiting his shots," said coach Damon Pigrom.

In the third quarter, Blair outscored Clarksburg 12-10 and the quarter ended with Blair still keeping their slight lead of 33-29. Ethan Ellis and Jack Smirnow scored two pointers.

Blair gained 13 more points in the fourth quarter. The action heated up, and at one point a fight almost broke out over a controversial foul. "Things got a little heated under the basket, that's what happens in basketball with competitive spirits coming out," said Cooper. In the middle of this, a child ran out across the court before his father chased after him and carried him safely back to the bleachers. Blair dominated defensively in the fourth quarter with multiple fouls and steals in the last four minutes of the game. Their strong defense and rebound skills helped the team to clinch their win. "We defended well and we rebounded well," said Pigrom. Clarksburg resorted to fouling at the end of the game but Blair continued to make their free throws. "We got out and transitioned well. We didn't shoot very well tonight but we picked it up at the free throw line," said Cooper. After a timeout, Julius Cobb dunked twice and the game ended with a Blair win of 56-50.

After the game, the tensions continued as a Clarksburg student stole a chair. "I saw our trainer come in and said one of the players stole the chairs. I don't know what they were going to do with it, it's just a chair. All chairs are accounted for, no chairs were harmed. We got it back," said Cooper.

Despite the win, Pigrom believes that the team needs to improve their turnovers for the future. "Our turnovers were too high. It will be hard for us to beat better teams when we're turning the ball over that many times. So if we clean that up, I think we'll be pretty good," he said. Senior Jack Smirnow agreed. "We could have had less turnovers, offensively we could have done better," he said.



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