Silver Chips Online

Lady Blazers fall in first round of playoffs

Physical play propels Churchill to 66-19 victory over Blazers

By Rachita Sood, Online Editor-in-Chief
February 27, 2007
FEB. 23, Churchill-

The girls' basketball team's recurring inconsistency led to a dismal offensive night for the Blazers as they fell hard to the Churchill Bulldogs in the first round of the 4A region playoffs. Riding a two game winning streak, the Blazers traveled to Churchill confident that they could be competitive against the Bulldogs. But the Bulldogs (14-8) shut down Blair's offense and capitalized on sloppy passes and lackadaisical defense to defeat the Blazers (3-20) for the third time this season.

The Blazers started off even with Churchill, controlling defensive rebounds and making several defensive stops to keep the Bulldogs' potent offense off the scoreboard. Both teams remained locked in a scoreless standstill until five minutes remained in the first quarter, when the Bulldogs scored on three consecutive fast breaks to jump out to a 6-0 lead. As the quarter wore on, the Blazers began to break down, turning the ball over on offense and leaving players open on the defensive end. The Bulldogs went on an 8-3 run, interrupted only by a three-point swish from sophomore Jenny Williams, and finished the quarter ahead 14-3.

By halftime, the Bulldogs' lead swelled to 17 points as the Blazers finished out the half down 25-8. Playing an aggressive man-to-man defense, the Bulldogs marked the Blazers tightly and forced them to make bad passes that led to easy points for Churchill. "When we're guarded one-on-one, we act like we're double teamed and we panic," head coach James Mogge said.

The second half saw the same play from both teams, with Churchill holding the Blazers to five points in the third quarter and six points in the fourth to finish the contest with a resounding 66-19 victory.

Williams was the only Blazer who put up more than one basket, finishing the game with a team-high 12 points. Junior centers Regat Buluze, Molly Martinez and Sara Ramsay each added two points and junior guard Christina Mullen contributed one.

The Blazers struggled all night to muster any offensive might against Churchill's aggressive defense. Mogge explained that in the playoffs, physical play becomes a major factor in games. "You get real physical and the referees tend to let the game play more," Mogge said. "When we get out there and we get pushed around, we get frustrated."

With this loss, the Blazers ended one of the roughest seasons in varsity girls' basketball history. Despite the disappointing season, Mogge remains optimistic for next season. The Blazers graduate seniors Helen Denbow and Kathy Jee, leaving many younger players who gained varsity experience this season to return next year and craft a more experienced and capable team.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/7270