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Feb. 13, 2017

Blair girls' basketball destroys Northwood 43-28

by Alyssa Berrios, Staff Writer
The Blair Blazers' girls' basketball team (12-5) stole the win against the Northwood Gladiators (4-13) on Tuesday night after a tight first half. However, Blair pulled through during the second half and triumphed over Northwood, coming away with the 43-28 win.

The Blazers began first quarter with Northwood stealing the ball and quickly running past Blair's defense. Within the first two minutes Northwood attempted a shot but the ball ultimately hit the backboard and Blair gained possession. After a few minutes of back and forth play between both teams, junior forward Aissatou Bokoum sank her free throws. Blair's senior forward Lauren Frost scored another two pointer minutes after Bokoum's shots were made. Northwood's forwards recuperated and swooped past Blair defenders, quietly scoring seven points within the last four minutes of the first quarter with a series of free throws and two pointer. By the end of the first quarter Blair's junior center Nora Olagbaju scored another two-point shot leaving Blair and Northwood tied.

Early in the second quarter Northwood came out with a tough man-to-man defense and came out strong, scoring a layup within seconds of the quarter beginning. However, Blair was not backing down. Bokoum dashed past Northwood's players and scored another two points. The Blazers and Gladiators were tied at 14 with 4:53 minutes left in the second quarter. In two minutes, Frost and Temple hit three free throws, leaving Blair with the slight edge at halftime, 19-16.

Blair began with the ball in the third quarter. Blair was determined to beat the Gladiators and had improved their game plan during the intermission. "The plan had to switch up during the game because we realized we weren't finishing our shots like we normally did. We knew we had to do better in the second half if we wanted to win," Olagbaju said. By the end of third quarter Blair had 30 points, leaving Northwood trailing far behind.Blair started the fourth quarter forcing a turnover against the Gladiators. In the first half of the last quarter, Blair put in Sara Temple a great move for Blair. Within two minutes Temple scored for Blair. Northwood was unable to keep up and the game ended 43-28.

Olagbaju states that the girls' game plan was to go in and execute adjustments made from the last time the team played Northwood. "We knew that they had made some adjustments for us so we prepared for them. We worked on our press break because that was something we struggled with last game," she said.

Though the Blazers toppled the Gladiators, Bokoum explains that the team could have kept the pressure on Northwood throughout the entire game. "We gave it our all first quarter. We just got a little distracted during second and third quarters. We have to try and put heart into all four quarters in order to succeed," she said.



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