Blair girls lose to Patriots, drop second in a row
FEB. 15, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM-
The Blazers seemed to finally be turning their season around after defeating Sherwood and then Richard Montgomery, both strong squads, by margins of 28 and ten, respectively. However, after losing to powerhouse Gaithersburg Feb. 10, the girls seem to have returned to their old ways: remaining neck-and-neck with their opponents, pulling ahead for what looks like an easy win and finally watching it all fall apart in disastrous fourth quarters.
Such was the Blair girls' plight against Wootton. They would lose the game 50-42, yet not for a lack of effort. Rather, the Blazers seemed to let the mental game hold them back, particularly as they entered the final quarter ahead 32-31. Throughout the period, the girls set up poor angles, made unfocused passes and shots and allowed the Patriots to sink nine of 22 potential free-throws as Blair committed foul after foul despite good defense from seniors Monique Eldridge and Vicky Dean. The most frustrating part of each loss for Blair thus far has been that their opponents winning points have been so preventable. In the final period, had those nine free-throw points been avoided, the Blazers could have narrowly edged out Wootton.
The Blazers held the lead throughout much of the first quarter. Besides a few errant passes the girls utilized strong teamwork, accurate shots and nice set-ups. Seniors Brittany Higgins and Jawana Henderson and junior Cate Rassman all contributed several key shots which gave the Blazers the advantage. However, with two minutes left in the period Blair fell off a bit on offense and yielded a 13-10 lead to Wootton.
The second quarter found Blair's defense and shot-making floundering. The Blazers were not getting the blocks and steals they needed and which would have been so easy. Again the girls had many close shots, but with little communication and still worse angles, they seemed to be missing something. Going into half-time Blair was still down 16-20.
In the third quarter Blair finally managed to come together, rallying their offense to score 16 points from the field during the period. Henderson scored four points, Higgins six, Rassman four and junior Sara Pierce two. Wootton would not be stopped so easily, however, as they continued scoring consistently and kept Blair honest with only a 32-31 lead going into the final period.
With such a close match-up at hand, the atmosphere in the gym was tense as both teams returned to the court. Blair showed spirit, shooting and desperately trying to defend their net up until the final minute. However, the Blazers' desperate moves were no match for Wootton's last minute precision and luck. As the clock wound down Blair watched as Wootton's lead gradually grew. The harsh sound of the buzzer would signify another loss in the Blazers' less than stellar (5-15) season.
Blair's next game is Friday, Feb. 18 at Whitman at 7 p.m.
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 »