Silver Chips Online

Blazers best Cougars

Girls' varsity basketball holds onto lead for a tight 58-57 victory

By Sophia Deng, Online Managing Editor
February 16, 2009
NELSON H. KOBREN GYMNASIUM, Feb.13 -

In a heated contest, the girl's varsity basketball team (9-10) managed to pull out a one-point win against the Quince Orchard Cougars (8-12) Friday night, 58-57. Although the Blazers led throughout most of the game, time management issues in the final seconds of the game almost cost the Lady Blazers their victory.

The Blazers started strong in the first quarter, leading the entire time and ending with a 15-13 lead over the Cougars. However, in the second quarter, the Blazers began to fall. Even though they managed to apply good pressure defense, the Lady Blazers gradually lost their first quarter momentum as the Cougars began to pick up their intensity.

Aggressive defense from the Cougars allowed them to snatch away Blair's 21-16 lead during the middle of the second quarter and finish the half ahead, 28-27. Unable to match Quince Orchard's defense, the Blazers were unable to get into an offensive rhythm. The Lady Blazers were unable to take advantage of the few open shots the Cougars gave up in the quarter.

Despite Blair's offensive problems, freshman guard Myla Sapp was able to keep the Blazers in the game, sinking in shot after shot. Sapp finished the game with a season-high 21 points.

In the third quarter, the Lady Blazers regained their confidence by stepping up their game. The Blazers constantly blocked shots and tipped passes, forcing the Cougars to turn the ball over repeatedly. Offensively, junior guard Inkera Patterson, who finished the game with 16 points, helped the team by finding shooters on the court and driving in for layups as the Blazers closed the third quarter five points ahead.

Both teams fought tooth and nail for possession of the ball in the last quarter, desperately grabbing and blocking the ball on all occasions in hopes of pulling out a victory.

In the last breathtaking second of the quarter, a Blazer victory hinged on whether a Cougar sunk in her two free throws. "I was nervous," Patterson said. "I was unsure." However, Patterson's nerves calmed - the Cougar made only one of her shots, securing a narrow but hard-fought 58-57 Blazer win.

Overall, head coach Erin Conley was pleased with her team's win. "We were consistent throughout the whole game," she said. Particularly, Conley was impressed with the Lady Blazers' defense and ball movement, although she believed the team can play even better in future games. "We need to work on clock management and the fourth quarter," she said.

Sophomore Janet Henkai agreed with Conley about the team's need to work on clock management. "We played the fourth quarter with a lot of young people out. With more experienced players, we would have held the ball more when we were in the lead," she said.

After the victory against Quince Orchard, Sapp is excited about the team's chances in this year's playoffs. "We'll go really far and surprise everyone," she says.

The Blazers' next home game is Tuesday, Feb. 17 against Quince Orchard at 7 p.m.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/8927