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Dec. 11, 2004

JV Blazers home opener a victorious one

by Michael Bushnell, Page Editor
After a sluggish first half to their home opener, Blair JV boys’ basketball head coach Richard Porac changed his game plan. The turnovers that plagued them had to stop, and they needed to get the ball inside more often. Once the Blazers were able to do that, they took control of the game and beat the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons, 64-53.

The Blazers (1-1) drew 24 fouls tonight by attacking inside, something that helped bring them their first win of the season. Their ability to pull away from the Barons (0-2) late was due in large part to the team giving the ball to big men Rich Chavez and Matt McLain.

Chavez had the biggest leap from the first half to the second. He was completely silent in the first two quarters, scoring just one point while bringing down three rebounds. In the second half, he scored 16 points, including eight of Blair’s first 10 points in the half, while snaring seven rebounds, to bring his line to 17 points and 10 rebounds, his first career double-double.

The excitement was hard to miss coming from the Blair bench as the final horn sounded. As the players exited the locker room after the game, each player congratulated Coach Porac, and vise versa. The payoff had finally come for the team in the form of a home-opener win.

Said Porac, “these guys worked so hard all week, getting here at 7 in the morning, and not getting home until 7:30 or 8 at night. All the hard work paid off, and now they know how good it feels.” He continued his unequivocal praise of the team by saying that the win was a “total team effort. Everybody contributed, whether it was a rebound, a steal, or something.”

His statement was correct, as five different players had a steal, nine had a rebound, and eight scored at least one point. After Chavez, the Blazer charge was led by Tori Patton, who had 14 points and four rebounds, and also by McLain who had 10 points and three rebounds.

Chavez, McLain and Patton were the main beneficiaries of Porac’s decision to play inside more in the second half that ultimately helped lead to the win. “We were bigger than them,” Porac commented after the game, “so we decided that we were gonna punch it in to Rich, Matt and Tori. We wanted Rich and Tori to touch the ball every time down the floor.”

The first half was sluggish, with Blair leading just 23-21 at the intermission. The Blazers had dominated the Barons, but their inability to make free throws kept B-CC in the game. Blair also had numerous turnovers, a key factor in the tightness of this game for so long. “There were some times in the second quarter,” Porac noted, “that we would go three, four possessions without putting up a shot, and obviously you can’t win if you don’t shoot.

The Barons stayed alive by scoring in spurts after Blair extended their leads big. B-CC was able to tighten a lead of 11 in the third down to four, and kept their deficit under ten until the final minute of the game.

But the Barons couldn’t hit any clutch three pointers to ignite a rally, and the clock ran out on them, giving the Blazers their first triumph of the yound season. The JV-Varsity doubleheader against the Barons was a sweep for Blair on Friday night, with the Varsity team winning by nine.

Jay Dee Encarnacion, a sophomore who was playing his first ever home game as a Blazer, provided the team with a spark from the guard sport, with eight points and five rebounds for the game.

Yonathan Gobezai, a lanky swingman who had 17 points, led B-CC. Jordan Herrar had nine rebounds for the Barons, but he fouled out with under four minutes to play.

The only real problem for the Blazers in the second half was their inability to make free throws. They were just 14-for-27 over the whole game from the charity stripe. “Foul shooting is something we definitely must work on,” Porac admitted.

However, this win gave Porac much more satisfaction, just because he realized tonight how good this team could be. “We’ve got to make free throws, and we’ve got to cut down on turnovers. If we do that, we’re good enough to be in a position to win every game.”

Blair's next game is another JV-Varsity doubleheader, this time against the Watkins Mill Wolverines. The JV squad will square off a 5:15 on Tuesday, December 13, at 5:15, with the Varsity constest starting 20 minutes after the end of the first game.

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  • JV Girls on December 11, 2004
    Hey what about the JV girls, theyre undefeated, they beat BCC and Einstein, but there isnt a report about either of those.
  • 04 BLAZER on December 12, 2004
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