Blue Devils take advantage of Blazer weakness
JAN. 28, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM—
Despite a few exceptions, this season has been painfully tough on the Blazers ever since they chalked up their first win against Einstein and a very satisfying victory on the road over B-CC. The Blazers are a squad full of talented players, yet when they get onto the court, something falls apart, leaving them with a dismal 3-12 record so far this season. Blair has not won a game at home since their opening-day victory over Einstein, leaving both fans and players constantly frustrated after each heart-breaking loss, much like they were Friday night, when Blair fell 60-45 to Springbrook.
This game followed the same formula as many of the Blazers' other losses as the girls alternated between quick bursts of aggression and low-energy offensive droughts. Very poor passing plagued the Blazers this game more than ever this season and was a large contributor to the team's lack of effective offense. Countless times during the game, particularly in the second half, Blair girls would pass impulsively, and a weak or off-target ball would land safely into the hands of a Springbrook player. Impulsiveness in general was the Blazer's bane Friday night, as they continually rushed themselves. As a result, Blair had many turnovers and missed shots, allowed their opponents lucrative free-throw opportunities and rebounds.
Blair came out onto the court energetic and pumped up in the first quarter, playing with flashy style yet with minimal success. After senior co-captain Britney Higgins made the team's first shot, the Blazers fell relatively quiet, and would only sink four more shots in the period. At this point, the teams seemed evenly matched; Springbrook shot only 30% from the field, and only remained even with Blair after making three out of a possible four free-throws.
The girls went into the second quarter looking as if they had the game in the bag, yet about four minutes into the period, the tables started to turn, and Springbrook began taking more chances, while the Blazers became more cautious. In the first minute, Higgins attempted to fake a pass and found the ball stolen from her immediately. This was indicative of how the game would be played, as the Blair squad would continue to get in trouble attempting tough or impulsive moves.
By the time the buzzer sounded to mark halftime, Blair was letting the Blue Devils walk all over them. The Blair girls seemed to be uncomfortable with Springbrook's scrappy, physical game, and saw their leads disappear quickly. Into the third quarter, it became obvious that the Blazers could not sustain the momentum they would need to pull out a win. However, Junior Cate Rassman, who shined again tonight in only her third game with the team, offered a beacon of hope with less than ten seconds left in the quarter as she grabbed an errant shot by senior co-captain Vicky Dean and delivered a smooth lay-up to decrease Blair's deficit to three points (40-37).
The final quarter was chaotic to say the least, with frustration and tempers boiling. With scrappy, physical play on both sides, the potential for aggression and controversial calls was high. In the sixth minute of the quarter, coach James Mogge was penalized for arguing with a call, and Springbrook was awarded a free-throw opportunity. Despite bright moments, such as senior Jawana Henderson's three-point play in the seventh minute and Higgins' prowess on the free-throw line, Blair basically fell apart in this final period. The girls missed many easy passes and shots, allowing Springbrook, like countless other Blair opponents, to come into their own and dominate play in the final, crucial quarter.
The Blazers' next home game is Friday, Feb. 4 vs. Sherwood at 5:15
Ellie Blalock. Ellie is a SENIOR in the CAP program at Blair. She enjoys such activities as traveling, being able to say "water" in six languages and having heart-to-heart chats with eccentric politicians. If you're in need of a laugh, please ask Ellie about her driving record...you … More »