Silver Chips Online

Victory at last for girls' basketball

Blazers end season with two wins, look forward to playoffs

By Rachita Sood, Online Editor-in-Chief
February 22, 2007
It's been a big week for the varsity girls' basketball team. After a season filled with twenty losses and only one win, the Blazers blew out Northwood 66-31 Tuesday night and edged past Watkins Mill 33-29 Wednesday night to end the regular season with a two game winning streak. The Blazers hope to carry the momentum from this two game spurt into their first playoff game Friday at Churchill.

As attendance secretary Roxanne Fus announced on Wednesday morning, the Blazers "annihilated" the Northwood Gladiators (1-20) on Blair's senior night. The Blazers started the game slowly, but eventually built a lead that they held for the duration of the contest.

<p>Senior Kathy Jee dribbles past a Northwood defender on Senior Night. Jee finished with 8 points and the Blazers won 65-31 for their second win of the season. </p><i>Photo by Andrea Lynn.</i>

Senior Kathy Jee dribbles past a Northwood defender on Senior Night. Jee finished with 8 points and the Blazers won 65-31 for their second win of the season.

Photo by Andrea Lynn.
Blair's execution and cutthroat style helped them pull away and finish with a victory. "We played with no fear," senior co-captain Helen Denbow said.

The season has been rocky for girls' basketball, and they have struggled as a team to get through the rough patches. "What we haven't been doing most of the season is playing as a team," sophomore Jenny Williams said. But against the Gladiators, the team gelled on the court, passing the ball and working flawlessly to score points. As a result, every player was on the score sheet in Blair's win.

For Denbow and senior Kathy Jee, the victory marked the last home game of their high school careers. Head coach James Mogge commended both seniors for their aggressive performances against Northwood. "The aggressive play of the seniors sparked us," Mogge said.

On Wednesday night, the Blazers traveled to Watkins Mill hoping to put up a solid performance against a team that has not won a varsity game in two years. "We were expecting to play like we did against Northwood," Denbow said. But sub-par shooting and sloppy defense in the first three quarters doomed the Blazers, keeping the Wolverines close and forcing Blair to play catch-up in the final minutes to win the game.

The Wolverines played a box-and-one defense, keeping one player on Williams the whole game to shut her down. But with their leading scorer bottled up, Blair again found a way to win when they began to work the ball inside to juniors Sara Ramsay and Regat Buluze.

It wasn't until the final quarter that the Blazers woke up and started playing as a team. "We hadn't really been playing well all game, but everyone really stepped up for the last couple minutes," Ramsay said.

Sophomore Jenny Williams drives through traffic against Northwood.
Sophomore Jenny Williams drives through traffic against Northwood.
With six minutes remaining in the game, the Wolverines led 29-22. Clutch free throws by Ramsay and Williams and key defensive steals by Denbow knotted the score at 29 with two minutes left on the clock. Ramsay and Williams returned to the line in the final seconds and each sank two free throws to ice the game.

Williams and Ramsay contributed most of the Blazers' points, finishing with 14 and 10 points respectively. Other Blazers who scored were Denbow with four points, Buluze with three and Cadigan with two.

The Blazers were missing starting guard junior Kalisha Holmes in both games, but freshmen twins Darcy Pelz-Butler and Kelly Pelz-Butler, who were moved up from the junior varsity team this week, stepped up to fill in the gap. Darcy finished with nine points against Northwood and Kelly fueled the team with her court vision and unselfishness. Both players earned the respect of the upperclassmen. "The twins really stepped up for their first varsity games," Cadigan said.

Riding on the momentum from their wins this week, the Blazers are confident that they can compete with Churchill in the first round of the playoffs. "If we play as a team, we can do some damage," Williams said.

The varsity girls' basketball team plays in the first round of the playoffs on Feb. 23 at Churchill at 7 p.m.