JAN. 27, SPRINGBROOK"
With the thrilling Jan. 4 Blair-Springbrook match-up at Blair coming down to the wire, tonight's contest at Springbrook looked to be a hotly-contested rematch, with the struggling Blazers eager to prove themselves against their division rivals. Results, however, did not meet expectations as the Blazers consistently failed to find the net and were trounced by a skilled Blue Devils squad, 66-43.
Springbrook took the lead at the tip-off and never looked back, dominating the Blazers inside and out and defusing Blair's offense before it ever really had a chance to ignite. The Blazers had one player in double figures, always-dependable senior swingman Kenan Myers with 12, and one three-pointer the entire night. Guards Petros Fentahun, a junior, and Brandon Curry, a senior, started to produce late in the game but got little help from their teammates, and by then the Blue Devils had already put the game out of reach.
The Blazers only managed to produce 19 points by halftime to the Blue Devils' 39, and while the intimidating Springbrook defense"with a major inside size advantage and speedy guards with especially sticky fingers tonight"played a significant role, the team dug a deep enough hole on their own. Blair's outside shooting was completely absent tonight; even the usually sharp-shooting sophomore guards Marquis Tyler and Jaydee Encarnacion could not find their touch. In one second-quarter sequence, Encarnacion tried the same corner three twice in 10 seconds and clanged off the iron on both attempts. The recent trend of reducing turnovers also failed to hold as errant, would-be assists and botched inbounds passes became all too common all too fast.
Senior guard Makonnen Brown, while he lost his starting spot, did his best to create opportunities for the Blazers. His speed and dexterity managed to penetrate the Springbrook defense in the first half, especially in tandem with Myers at the post, but he could not kick start a lethargic Blazer offense. Even when Brown or the other Blazer guards managed to work past the Blue Devils' front line to drive or dish it to a forward, they were usually stymied by the imposing Springbrook big men. Curry showed signs of life in the fourth, drawing multiple fouls and grabbing seven quick points, but the team-wide comeback effort never materialized.
The Blazers faced big deficits before, the first Springbrook game looked beyond hope at the half, but showed no real fire, no urge to climb back into the game tonight. Curry showed occasional sparks of defensive prowess, he has both the muscle to push for the steal and the speed to create problems for careless ball handlers, but the Blazers as a whole could not come up with the defensive stops that they sorely needed. Giving up points to the Springbrook post players inside may have been forgivable, but the lack of perimeter pressure let the Blue Devils shoot from downtown with impunity all night.
Springbrook brought their A-game tonight, busting the Blazers from the free-throw line to the boards, but Blair's lackluster offense was just as much to blame for the lopsided loss. The Blazers need to get a handle on the offensive fundamentals before they can hope to compete in the daunting 4A West Division. Blair's next game is at home against Blake on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.
Dan Greene. Dan, alright fine, VJ, is proud to be a senior at Blair and a member of the best paper. Ever. He's really funny, trust him. As managing sports editor and ombudsman he enjoys sports and ombudsing. Dan also enjoys literature, soccer and crude humor. One … More »