The Blazers stayed strong throughout the game and won, 73-31, earning their first win of the season.
On Jan 5, the Blair girls’ basketball team bested the Northwood Gladiators in their annual Battle of the Boulevard game with a final score of 73-31. The team’s landslide victory followed two other Battle of the Boulevard wins from the Blair boys’ and girls’ junior varsity basketball teams on the same day.
Both teams were aggressive and quick from the jump, with Blair stealing the ball and taking an early lead. Junior forward Emma Acquoi set the tone with two early layups within the first minute.
The Blazers continued this momentum with steal after steal, converting fast break opportunities into easy buckets. The Gladiators tried to up their defense, but their efforts were no match for back-and-forth sequences across the net between Acquoi, junior point guard Lauren Mayn, and junior forward Nigisti Asmeron.
The Gladiators were forced to rely on free throws for the bulk of their points. Blair’s strong offensive plays resulted in Blair’s 16-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
At the start of the second quarter, the Gladiators came back energized, making the first three-point shot of the game. They maintained possession of the ball for a minute before the Blazers stole it, dribbled up-court, and made a show from within the paint putting the score at 23-8.
The quarter continued with most of the action taking place on Blair’s half of the court. Mayn and Asmeron worked together to finish out the fantastic first half by weaving past the Northwood defense and scoring six points for Blair in two minutes, ending the half at 37-13.
Even with the lead, the Blazers kept their energy up for the second half, scoring two points in the first 20 seconds. The Gladiators didn’t back down and followed with two three-pointers less than 45 seconds later. In response, the girls upped their defensive efforts which forced Northwood to earn the remainder of their points through free throws or heavily-contested mid-range shots.
This increased defensive intensity also meant the Blazers would frequently steal the ball. Many fast breaks of these steals ended with a bucket from Acqoui, whether from a layup, a jumper, or free throws after being fouled. By the end of the third, these efforts added up to an intimidating score gap of 59-24.
The fourth quarter was similarly quick-paced and aggressive with Blair prioritizing defense going into the last quarter. Within the first two minutes, one Gladiator fouled out with no substitutes, setting the rest of the game to be played five vs. four.
The Blazers continued to take control of the game, navigating through the opposition and going for layups, putting Blair ahead by 40 points.
With 90 seconds left on the clock, Northwood benched a second player after she fouled out, resulting in a five vs. three game. The game ended there with a final score of 73-31.
Coach Jada Launi was proud of the team’s win and application of strategies but described the need for better efficiency to beat a team with a stronger offensive guard. “There are a few delays, a few times where we were out of position on our defense, so we’ll definitely be working on that,” Launi says.
Acquoi, who scored 25 points overall, was extremely satisfied with the team’s performance. “I feel really good. We ran our plays well, and we were overall put together as a team,” she says.
The Blazers will take on the Wheaton Knights (home) on Monday, Jan 8 at 7:15 PM. Tickets can be found here.
Giorgia Toti. Hello! I am Giorgia Toti, a junior at MBHS, and this is my first year as a writer on Silver Chips Online. Along with a love of writing I am a part of Girl Scouts and am finishing my final Gold Award project, a coxswain … More »
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