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Jan. 12, 2008

Boys' basketball drops sixth straight

by Greg Kohn, Online Sports Editor and Susie Branson, Online Features Editor
NELSON H. KOBREN GYMNASIUM, Jan. 11

After a promising 2-0 start to the season, the varsity boys' basketball team dropped their sixth straight game, a loss to the Magruder Colonels Friday night, 60-35.

The Colonels are a top team in the division, and it showed in their performance against the Blazers (2-6). Magruder established the early lead, getting up by 15 points during the second quarter. Blair made a run of their own in order to cut the deficit to five, but eight Magruder three-pointers were too much for the Blazers to handle. Blair scored only six points in both the first and fourth periods.

"Magruder was a faster and more organized team," Blair head coach Mark DeStefano said. "We created opportunities but didn't take advantage of them."

Both teams had trouble finding their shot in the first quarter. Magruder was able to find the open man through quick perimeter passing, but went 0-5 from three-point range to begin the game. The Colonels' half-court trap rattled the Blazers, who had only two points with 1:40 remaining in the quarter. Magruder stepped the pressure up to a full-court press, but Blair broke through to finally add some more points to the scoreboard. Magruder led 11-6 at the end of the quarter.

In the second quarter however, the Colonels went rampant. After establishing their three-pointer, the Colonels tore away in a 16-6 run that extended their advantage to 27-12. With only a few minutes remaining before the half, Blair showed some signs of life. Senior captain and guard Milton Colquehoun drove to the basket and drew the foul, proceeding to nail both free throws. The Blazers put in another basket to cut Magruder's lead to 11. Then, with only seconds remaining, senior guard Quentin Snively launched a shot from half-court that sailed in at the buzzer for a 27-19 halftime score.

Blair came out strong in the early goings of the second half. Junior center Leon Sampson used his height inside for two baskets early in the third quarter, and senior guard Joe Dubuche sank a three to once again bring Blair close, 29-24. But Magruder proceeded to drain three three-pointers in a row in what became a 13-2 Colonel run to take a commanding 16-point lead.

Blair's turnovers knocked them off their game, with Magruder's speedy defense contesting every pass. "Turnovers killed us," Snively said. "We need to stop losing the ball and start doing the little things that helped us win the first two games."

Due to injuries, grades and other distractions, Blair has been unable to play with the same winning rotation since their second game of the season. Last night, the team was without junior forward Michael McClain, who led the Blazers in points through the two wins.

The last quarter was more of the same, as Magruder was able to score inside and outside. The Colonels scored the last ten points of the game unanswered for a 60-35 final score.

"Right now," DeStefano said after the game, "everything is just preparing us for the playoffs."


The Blazers' next home game is Tuesday, Jan. 22 against Richard Montgomery at 7 p.m.



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