Silver Chips Online

Girls' basketball makes quick playoff exit

Blazers fall to Wildcats 62-44

By Anshul Sood, Online Sports Editor
March 3, 2008
TILDEN MIDDLE SCHOOL GYMNASIUM, Mar. 1-

The girls' varsity basketball team (5-18) fell to the Walter Johnson Wildcats (7-16) in the first round of the regional playoffs. The Blazers fought hard on defense and executed well on offense, but the Wildcats picked it up in the second half, going on to win by a score of 62-44.

Despite the final result, it was the Blazers who started off hot. The Wildcats controlled the opening tip, but the Blazers struck first off a three-pointer by senior guard Kalisha Holmes. The Wildcats responded with four points off of a great inlet passes. But the Blair defense stiffened, forcing five turnovers in the quarter and holding the Wildcats to only eight points. On the offensive side, Blair was able to break Walter Johnson's full court press and move the ball around well on offense. The Blazers ended the quarter ahead, 13-8.
Senior Kalisha Holmes brings the ball up court during her last game as a Blazer. Molly Brune
Senior Kalisha Holmes brings the ball up court during her last game as a Blazer.

The beginning of the second quarter saw much of the same. The Blazers forced three turnovers early, but were unable to convert. Despite the missed shots, they maintained a five point lead, ahead by a score of 17-12.

But then the Wildcats responded. After a pair of buckets, Walter Johnson added a three-pointer to go up 19-17 with three minutes remaining in the half, a lead they would keep for the remainder of the game. The points were part of an 11-0 Wildcat run that put them ahead 25-20 at halftime. The Blazers were outscored by 10 points in the second quarter.

Junior Ashley Arnold started out the second half with two made free throws, but the Wildcats responded with a quick four points, continuing their offensive display. They were able to hit numerous shots and get to the foul line. Junior guard Jenny Williams tried to spark the Blazers with an acrobatic reverse layup, but the Wildcats were able to add to their lead, and ended the quarter ahead 36-30, still a potential two-possession game.

But the fourth quarter belonged solely to the Wildcats. They scored in all possible ways - on the fast break, from midrange jumpers, three point shots and from the free throw line. The game ended 62-44, and the Blazers left with an emotional loss to end the season.
Junior Ashley Arnold holds the ball while the Blazers get set on offense. Molly Brune
Junior Ashley Arnold holds the ball while the Blazers get set on offense.

Seniors Meghan Cadigan and Holmes thought the team played well, but just could not finish the game strong. "We came out really aggressive, but we let up in the second half and didn't play tough enough defense," Cadigan said.

"There was so much passion throughout the game," Holmes added. "But we lost that at times and just could not keep it up."

After the game, head coach Erin Conley told the team how proud of them she was and how much they improved over the season. "This season was a real learning experience for us," she said. "Everyone improved individually and we improved as a team also."

Holmes also saw the team improve this season and wishes the team well next season. "This year was a big improvement," she said. "Our on-court chemistry got better. Our final record really doesn't show how well we played. We scored more and defended better."

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/8193