Silver Chips Online
Girls' basketball comes up short in playoffs
Blair loses to BCC 52-37 in first round
By Eleanor Cook, Online Editor-in-Chief
February 28, 2017
In a disappointing end to the season, the Blazers (13-9) lost to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons (14-6) by a score of 52-37. The Barons gained a lead early in the game and, although that lead fluctuated, the Blazers were never able to come back.
Blair remained scoreless for the majority of the first quarter. Although the team managed to hold BCC to four baskets and nine points, they gave up offensive opportunities with lots of turnovers while swinging the ball around the three point line. Senior Lauren Frost scored Blair's only point of the quarter by sinking a free throw with under two minutes left.
As the Blazers went into the second quarter, they began to pick up their game. They took more shots, committed fewer turnovers and followed up BCC's baskets with points of their own. Junior forwards Nora Olagbaju and Aissatou Bokoum both made important blocks in the paint which helped create fast breaks. Frost and junior Sara Temple attacked the rim more aggressively, and they combined for nine of Blair's ten points in the quarter. The Barons stayed ahead but increased their lead by only one point, and were up 20-11 heading into halftime.
The third quarter began well, as the Blazers matched BCC for the first several possessions, but Blair's defense began to soften afterward. The Barons put up nine unanswered points while the Blazers struggled to protect the basket and to create offensive opportunities, and forced a Blair time out. The Blazers, led by Frost and Olagbaju, were able to reorganize and score nine points for the rest of the quarter while giving up only five. Frost ended the quarter with a three-pointer with two seconds remaining, to put the score at 38-25.
Blair went into the fourth quarter in need of a comeback and despite valiant efforts, fell short. Frost scored her third three-pointer of the game while Temple kept offensive pressure on with drives to the basket, but BCC's defense continued to be difficult to penetrate, while the Barons scored multiple layup on the other side of the court. The game ended as Temple sank a bank shot from far behind the three-point arc, but the thrill could not overcome the disappointment of ending the season with a first-round loss at BCC for the second time in three years.
Blair coach Haley Hollis was nonetheless proud of the Blazers' work and improvement over the season. "Losing, it stinks, but I've seen a lot of growth in this team from the beginning of the year to now, so I feel like the season was a success in about every category," Hollis said. Hollis is also hopeful for the seasons to come. "The hope is to build Blair basketball into the powerhouse that it used to be," she says. Blair's starting lineup this year had three juniors and two seniors. With plenty of experience, next year's team is already looking ahead.
Editor's note: Lauren Frost is Entertainment Editor for Silver Chips Online