Silver Chips Online

Springbrook tramples girls' basketball

Now 0-5 Blazers deflated by 51-22 loss

By Rachita Sood, Online Editor-in-Chief
December 22, 2006
DEC. 19, NELSON H. KORBEN MEMORIAL GYM

The Springbrook Blue Devils handed the varsity girls' basketball team their fourth straight loss on Tuesday night, soundly defeating the Blazers 51-22. While Blair's defense was once again a highlight, the team struggled to muster any offensive might and put points on the board.

Springbrook, ranked 17th in the region by the Washington Post, played what head coach James Mogge called an "aggressive" and "physical" game. "It was up to us to step up and meet their ability," said Mogge. "We shied away from it."

The Blue Devils caught the Blazers flat footed, scoring ten unanswered points in the first four minutes of play. After sophomore point guard Jenny Williams drove down the lane to put Blair on the board with two points, the Blazer's defense woke up. Playing in a one-two-two zone, the Blazer's defense effectively covered Springbrook's deadly outside shooters. Whenever the Blue Devils penetrated into the lane, Blair's low post players immediately collapsed and covered under the basket.

While Blair's defense held Springbrook to only four more points in the quarter, Blair's offense could not run their set plays effectively, a problem that plagued the team all night. Williams drove through a pack of defenders in the lane for her second bucket to bring the score to 12-4, with Springbrook still on top. A few plays later junior Kalisha Holmes drove the baseline and picked up a foul, hitting one of her free throws to bring the final score at the end of the first quarter to 14-5.

The Blazers opened the second quarter with another two points by Williams before both teams fell into a stalemate. The Blue Devils dominated possession but Blair's defense held the score at 14-7 until 3:40 left in the quarter. Then, in the most decisive minutes of the game, the Blue Devils scored six consecutive points on back-to-back plays, pulling ahead 21-7. Blair called a timeout but could not break Springbrook's momentum. The Blue Devils finished out a 12-0 scoring run, turning defensive steals into easy points, and ended the half up 26-7.

The Blue Devils continued to dominate in the second half. While the Blazers' offense continued to struggle, the defense also began to fall apart under Springbrook's quick ball movement. The Blue Devils continually used cross-court passes to switch play to the open side and generate open jump shots, allowing them to end the third quarter ahead 46-12. Williams, Holmes, and senior center Ebony Winfield added Blair's five points in the period.

With both teams' starting players on the bench, the fourth quarter turned into eight minutes of back and forth play between the teams. Although the Blazers outscored the Blue Devils 10-5, the final score of 51-22 reflected a disappointing performance.

Mogge was blunt about the Blazers' biggest problem on Tuesday night. "We couldn't score," he said. Part of Blair's offensive struggles stemmed from the size of the Springbrook players. With relatively big and strong players at every position, the Blue Devils' aggression and size made it hard for the Blazers to run their offensive plays.

Despite the poor performance, Mogge maintained hope for the rest of the season. The Blazers started the season with a difficult schedule against squads such as Springbrook and Kennedy and faced another tough opponent last night in a loss to Blake. But as Blair's schedule eases up and the team gains experience, Mogge believes that the team will develop and become more competitive.

The girls' varsity basketball team plays its next home game on Dec. 19 against Springbrook at 7 p.m.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/7077