Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Jan. 10, 2007

Despite good play, Colonels conquer

by Miriam Ragen, Online National News Editor and Food Editor
JAN. 8, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM—

The JV boys' basketball team fell to the Colonels 46-44 in their fifth straight loss dropping their record to 3-5. The close game was filled with fast-paced passing, strong defense and a struggle for the lead. The lead changed many times throughout the game, finally landing in the Colonels' favor.

While the game shows up as a loss on the team's record, coach Emanuel Charles maintains he is happy with the team's performance. "They played their hearts out but we were on the short end," he said.

Coach Charles attributed some of the problems to the team's inexperience. "We just made a few errors at the end, we could've won," he said. "There was lots of pressure, and it is hard for ninth and tenth graders to perform under that kind of pressure."

The game started out with Magruder quickly gaining possession and driving towards the basket. Seconds later, Blair's defense was in action grabbing the rebound and charging down the court. Sophomore Neil Corran scored the first basket with 6:50 left in the quarter. Magruder then went on a 10-0 run. After a few substitutions, the Blazers defense came to life, getting a few key stops and helping the Blazers cut the lead in more than half.

The second quarter saw Blair continue its solid play. Blair's defense fought the bigger Magruder players to every ball. Sophomore co-captain Eddie Kolleh was instrumental in the success of the defense, hustling and diving after every loose ball. Kolleh sums up the effort by saying, "It was the best team ball this season and best defense, we gave it our all." Paced by a strong Blair offense, the first half closed with the Blazers leading 22-20.

During halftime the Blazers seemed to lose some of their energy, resulting in sloppy passes that let the Colonels steal the ball and run up the score. The team came to life during a full court press when freshman Cooper Neimand dived on to the floor with three Magruder players, secured the loose ball and sent it to freshman Danye Bolt.

Bolt took a quick shot and missed, but the ball was instantly recovered by sophomore co-captain Wayne Henderson. Henderson put the ball back up, getting fouled along the way.

While the third quarter was a seesaw battle for the lead, the Blazers played some of their best ball. Neimand was instrumental in moving the ball across court while Corran scored most of the team's points. The quarter ended with the score deadlocked at 33.

The Blazers game began to slip at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The team faltered, allowing Magruder to go on a 9-2 run. But the Blazers were far from done. They continually crashed the boards, securing rebounds and transitioning to offense. With 5:12 left in the game Blair went on an 8-0 streak. With 1:40 left on the clock, Blair led by a mere two points. The Blazers attempted to run out the clock but the play was short lived as a player stepped out of bounds while pressured by two Magruder players. With 1:14 left Blair was forced to put up its strongest defense and attempt to regain possession. Magruder was able to blow by the smaller Blair players as they quickly scored twice bringing the game to 46-43.

With 9.3 seconds left, Charles called a time out and set up his team for one last attempt. After two back-to-back time-outs the teams stepped onto the court. Blair quickly in bounded the ball, passing it rapidly around the court looking for the open shot. With just 2.4 seconds left sophomore Theo Melton shot a three pointer. The shot is no good but a foul is called. Melton goes to the foul line with the possibility of tying the game if he makes all three of his shots. He misses his first shot, makes his second and misses his final shot. Magruder immediately gets the rebound and waits for the clock to run out, securing a victory.


The boys JV basketball team plays its next home game on Jan. 15 against Walter Johnson at 5:15 p.m.



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