Blair finds resolve to win in evenly matched game
NELSON H. KOBREN GYMNASIUM, Feb. 4 –
The Blazers (4-10) defeated the Sherwood Warriors 50-45 with crowd-pleasing plays in the last minute to end the 45-45 stalemate.
Sherwood won possession over junior center Saba Aregai to start the game and rattled off four unanswered points. Fighting the energetic Warrior defense, senior guard Kalisha Holmes attacked the basket and got Blair on the board by drawing two fouls, scoring one point on each. Holmes followed with another basket and knotted the score at 4-4, beginning the game's even offensive production. A surprise three-pointer by freshman forward Janet Henkai and another basket off of turnover put Blair ahead briefly 9-7 at the end of the half.
After another basket by Arnold, the Warriors went on an unanswered eight point scoring spree. The Warriors' hard nosed defense aggressively sought possession. Sophomore Inkera Patterson fell victim and had the ball stolen, but Holmes quickly stepped in regained possession from the Sherwood defender in seconds. A welcome three pointer by Williams broke the Blazers' dry spell and ended the half with the Warriors ahead, 23-19.
The Warriors returned from the locker room with a bang and in the first minutes the Blazers were scrambling to keep up. A disciplined defense and improved offense allowed Sherwood to lead 19-28, but Blair's frustration later turned to action with Holmes, Henkai and Arnold scoring two points, Williams with another three-pointer and four points from Dewan on a run was sparked by impressive blocks by Arnold and Dewan.
The offense fell stagnant for the next two minutes, but with three minutes left on the clock, Williams scored to bring the score to 43-42.
With less than two minutes to go, the Blazers were down by one 43-44 before Arnold scored to tie the game at 45-45.
Only 45 seconds remained in the game when Dewan not only made a critical lay-up but also drew a foul and made both shots to put the Blazers up for good, 49-45. To add to the lead, Williams drew a foul and made one shot to end the game.
Coach Erin Conley credits improvement in team chemistry and technical execution as the keys to the night's victory. "Teamwork and defense helped us pull through, when we lost to Magruder our team chemistry wasn't as good," she said.
Dewan, who pulled together the game winning play, agreed. "We came together today, a lot of what we were practicing was shown today," she said. "We're all pretty happy, and we beat last year's record."
The Blazers' next home game is Wednesday, Feb. 13 against Paint Branch at 7 p.m.
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