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Dec. 21, 2004

JV Blazers outscore Damascus for fifth win in a row

by Michael Bushnell, Page Editor
Dec. 20, Nelson H. Kobren Memorial Gymnasium

Back in November, Blair JV boys basketball head coach Richard Porac said that his team was loaded with talent, however it was hard to tell if he was being honest or just spouting coach speak. But after a high-scoring victory, the team's fifth straight, it's starting to look like Porac was dead on.

The Blazers (5-1) used their speed and size to outrun and outscore the Damascus Hornets 69-58. Following back-to-back wins last week where the team held their opponent under 36 points in both games, yet never eclipsed 50 themselves, they showed that they can fill up the basket if needed.

Damascus (2-2) has been a naturally free-running, good shooting team, and they were able to get Blair to play their style of game. Still, Blair was able to win by double digits, something that Porac attributes to Blair's size and speed. "We're capable enough to run, rebound and score with anyone in the county, he said.

Jay Dee Encarnacion led the Blazer scoring attack early, contributing with 11 first half points, and 15 overall for the game. Rich Chavez had another double-double, with 10 points and 10 rebounds on the day.

"Jay Dee was hot, and he stood out on offense for us tonight, Porac stated.

The first quarter was low scoring, with Blair leading after the first eight minutes just 11-9. But the team exploded for 25 points in the second quarter, and headed to the locker room at halftime with a commanding 36-20 lead, that proved too much for Damascus to overcome.

Porac said that he prepared his team for the second half run by the Hornets that would eventually come. "At the half, I told the guys that this was a good team, and good teams come back.

And come back they did. The Hornets slowly began to chip away at the Blazer lead, thanks in large part to stealing Blazer passes and forcing them into other turnovers.

As the fourth quarter came, Damascus seemed to have all the momentum on their side. The girls team that was to play after the boys, as well as all the Hornet parents were cheering very loudly, making the game seem like a home game for them and not one for Blair.

Chad Dove hit a three pointer for Damascus with under three minutes to play, which cut their deficit to just five. But that was the closest they would get because, on the next play, Joshua Brown forced a turnover for the Blazers, converted for two points on the other end, and Blair never looked back, sealing their win.

"Tonight I thought we were the better team, Porac said, trying to understate his team as always by adding that "I'm not sure we are in the long run, but we were the better team tonight.

The temperature may have been oppressively cold outside today, but Blair chose the right game to get a hot shooting touch. Four Blazers scored in double figures, and the 69 points they put up tonight was the best output all year.

One noticeably improved Blazer was forward Matt McLain, who had 12 points and six rebounds. He impressed Porac more with his effort that didn't show up on tonight's statistics sheet. "We talked about Matt being more aggressive, and he was in this game.

Damascus was undermanned compared to the Blazers, bringing only nine players from cow country down to face Blair. Every Hornet received significant playing time, and they all scored at least one point. Kyle Frazier and Mac Minturn led the balanced offense for the visitors with 10 points apiece, with three other players chipping with with eight points each.

Tonight's victory marked the fifth of the year for the team, which already eclipses their win total last year, when they went 4-14. Porac attributed the team's success in large part to the leadership of its sophomores.

"There are a lot of sophomores on the team, and those with experience have led and showed the others how to play, and that's why we've been so successful.





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  • matt <3er on December 21, 2004 at 9:37 PM
    Yeah Matt

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  • jaydee on December 23, 2004 at 8:29 AM
    sam is getting better
  • uknown (View Email) on December 28, 2004 at 9:15 AM
    hey jaydee how about clearance isn`t he geting better?
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