Bengals blast Lady Blazers

Jan. 8, 2009, midnight | By Katie Sint | 13 years, 4 months ago

Girl's varsity basketball falls to Blake, 72-48


The girl's varsity basketball team laced up their sneakers and stepped onto the court for their first home game of the new year Wednesday night. Unfortunately, the Lady Blazers (4-5) were unable to keep up with the aggressive rallies of the Blake team (5-6) after the first half and fell to the Bengals, 48-72.

Trailing the Bengals for the majority of the game, the Lady Blazers quickly lost momentum after tying the score at 30 early in the third quarter. Unable to transition from offense to defense smoothly, the Lady Blazers left room open for the Bengals to drive in for easy lay-ups, ultimately costing Blair the game.

The Blazers made the first two points of the game, but they could not hold off the Bengals' offense for long, losing their only lead of the night. The Bengals controlled the ball throughout the first half, effortlessly slipping in lay-ups past the Blazer defense and capitalizing on Blair's turnovers. "We need to work on our ball handling some more," junior guard Inkera Patterson said.

The Lady Blazers scrambled to close the point gap, relying heavily on team star Patterson for agile drives down the court as well as beautiful assists. Patterson proved to be the team's heavy hitter, scoring 17 points for the Lady Blazers on the night. Senior Ashley Arnold helped the team catch up to the Bengals, sinking free throw after free throw in the second quarter, an impressive feat even Shaq would be envious of. Blair switched to a full-court press defense and was able to catch up to the Bengals. With 10 seconds left in the first half, Patterson snuck in a shot from just inside the arc, cutting the deficit to 30-26 at halftime.

The third quarter started off slowly for both teams, but through collaborations between Arnold and sophomore guard Janet Henkai as well as free throws by Patterson, the Lady Blazers used a 6-0 run to tie the score at 30-30 early in the half. However, the Blazers quickly lost their momentum and were unable to regain the lead. "We lowered our momentum in the third quarter," Henkai said. "That's something we need to work on."

Despite steals by freshman Myla Sapp and drives up the court by the Blair offense, the team was unable to keep up with the Bengals. The Blazers allowed Blake to score on second-chance opportunities multiple times, bringing the score to 42-36 at the end of the third, still a managable deficit. But the fourth quarter proved to be no better for Blair as the Bengals distanced themselves and extended their lead by 24 points.

The Lady Blazers, plagued with unfavorable calls by referees, fatigue and a disconnection between offense and defense, fell to the Bengals, 72-48.

The loss was not a disappointment in the eyes of the Lady Blazers and head coach Erin Conley. "We did really well, it's a major improvement from our last game," Conley said. The team will work on improving rebounding and passing out through the season in hopes of becoming a "playoff contender," according to Conley.

"We're going to have a good season. We just need to practice hard and play hard," Patterson concluded.

The Lady Blazers' next home game is against Sherwood on Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.

Katie Sint. Katie Sint is 5 foot 2 and her last name rhymes with "squint" which has lead to the creation of many Asian jokes. Katie likes Sour Patch kids, Iron chef, laughing, Bubble Shooter, The Office and naps. She plays volleyball and is a CAP junior. More »

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