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Jan. 12, 2010

Warriors defeat reeling Blazers 57-48

by Gardi Royce, Page Editor
The Blazers (1-9) fell to a Sherwood (4-2) team that was able to overcome a first quarter deficit by capitalizing on Blair's sloppy play and bad decisions. With mistakes that were similar to those in their last home game, the Blazers missed crucial fourth quarter foul shots and experienced a lack of control at the end of the game that contributed to their nine-point loss.

Coming out of the first half, the Blazers were down by only one point, but they allowed the Warriors to take control of the second half and outscore Blair 32-24. Although foul shots and missed opportunities contributed to Blair's ultimate loss, ball mishandling at the end of the game primarily led to the defeat. Blair committed well over 15 turnovers, many of which occurred in the crucial fourth quarter.

Blair offense revolved around seniors Dennis Mesidor and Cameron Reed, who contributed 13 and 15 points respectively. In the last three games, Reed has led the offense by scoring at least 12 points per game. Mesidor has also been playing well, averaging 14 points a game for the last three games. Despite their offensive production, Mesidor and Reed have had their hands full without an established third person on whom they can rely to score. As a result, the Blazers dribble the ball too much, which leads to turnovers and poor decisions.

Blair's turnover woes have grown as the season has progressed and coach Mark DeStefano is frustrated. "It's inexcusable to turn the ball over 20 times. There's no reason to do it," he said. DeStefano also sympathized with the Blair community and spectators, who hope for better play from Blair's team. "I feel bad for the school. We should be coming out here representing Blair, but I feel bad for the community and fans that have to watch us lose," he said. The ball control problems will be key in determining Blair's advancement later this season.

As the turnovers and fouls piled up in the fourth quarter, both Blair and Sherwood players became frustrated. After a foul on senior Cooper Neimand, Mesidor fell to the ground on a Sherwood player. As the players got up, the Sherwood athlete yelled and rushed the ref, screaming that the Blazer had stomped on his head. Though some looked down on the scrappy physical play of the game, DeStefano saw it differently. "We'd rather see an inappropriate display of emotion because we can harness and guide a misguided effort of energy and passion. We can't harness a player's energy if there's no effort made at all."

As the Blazers reflect on their season thus far, they recognize that boxing out, turnovers, a lack of second-chance opportunities and missed foul shots have continually hindered their success. But Blair's loss against Sherwood wasn't too perplexing, other than nine missed foul shots, which contributed to Blair's defeat by that nine-point margin.

With streaking Magruder next on the schedule, the Blazers will need to find the spark that will bring them to a victory. Coach Cedric Boatman believes Blair needs to make better decisions in order to win. "We already play hard. However, the bottom line is that we have to have a better basketball IQ when it comes to games where we need to make split-second decisions. I sound like a broken record, but we got to stop turning the ball over and make free throws. It's simple."

Blair's next home game is against Magruder High School on Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.

Editor's note: Mark DeStefano is the adviser for Silver Chips Online.



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  • photo? on January 12, 2010 at 8:23 PM
    why doesn't this story have a photo? the other ones do.
    • luke on January 13, 2010 at 1:42 PM
      them photographers are slacking
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