Silver Chips Online

Wildcats tear through girls' basketball

Blazers look to win final two games of season

By Rachita Sood, Online Editor-in-Chief
February 12, 2007
FEB. 9, NELSON H. KOBREN GYMNASIUM-

As a sophomore last year, Walter Johnson's standout guard Alex Chili served up 34 points as the Wildcats defeated the varsity girls' basketball team 63-50. Friday night, Chili returned to Blair's gymnasium as a junior and scored 37 points to bury the Blazers in their third loss to Walter Johnson this season.

The Blazers (1-20) showed improvement on offense, scoring their third highest game total this season, but their man-to-man defense struggled to contain the Wildcats' potent perimeter shooting. The Wildcats capitalized on Blair's lackluster defense and pulled away late in the second quarter to secure their 69-46 win.

The Wildcats opened the first quarter with five unanswered points. The Blazers kept the deficit at five well into the period, bringing the score to 12-7. But with two minutes left on the clock, the Wildcats used defensive steals to spark an 8-2 run that pulled them ahead 20-9.

The Blazers came into the second quarter determined to dig themselves out of their 11 point hole. The two teams traded baskets for the first five minutes of play, and Blair narrowed the gap to 28-20. But, in a repeat of the first quarter, the Wildcats tore through Blair's defense for nine quick points that were interrupted only by a jumper from junior Kalisha Holmes. Walter Johnson headed into halftime up 37-22, a 15 point lead that Blair couldn't dent the rest of the night.

In the third quarter, the Wildcats outscored the Blazers 21-9. By double teaming Blair's guards, the Wildcats forced turnovers that they converted into easy baskets. In the half court set, the Wildcats ravaged Blair's defense from behind the arc, connecting on four three pointers in the quarter to end ahead 58-31. The fourth quarter saw a continuation of the same play from both teams as the Wildcats maintained their lead to finish the contest with a lopsided 69-46 win.

Chili led both teams with 37 points, combining with Walter Johnson senior Stephanie Bailey's 13 points to provide the bulk of the Wildcats' score. Sophomore Jenny Williams led the Blazers with 17 points, and Holmes stepped up to add a season high 12 points.

Blair's defense struggled to contain Chili all night because of her range as a shooter, according to head coach James Mogge. Chili notched five three pointers, pulling up several feet behind the arc rather than toeing the line as most high school level players do. "Our defense was slow to get up with a hand in her face because we didn't realize that she had that kind of range," Mogge said.

Mogge added that Blair's defense struggled overall to anticipate and contain Walter Johnson's offense. "We were a step behind and a step slow on defense," Mogge said.

In the two remaining games of the regular season, the Blazers hope to secure their first win since Dec. 28. The Blazers take on Watkins Mill (0-17) on Tuesday and Northwood (1-15) on Thursday. Senior co-captain Helen Denbow believes that despite the Blazers' struggling defense, the team has been improving and can win its upcoming games. "We're looking forward to next week. Our goal is to get two wins," Denbow said.

The varsity girls' basketball team plays its next home game on senior night on Feb. 15 against Northwood at 7 p.m.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/7217