Blair defeats Sherwood in a nail biter
JAN. 12, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM-
Blair fought to the finish tonight, first leading, then trailing, and finally leading again. The JV Blazers brought their record to 5-5 in a heated duel with the Sherwood Warriors (3-8). The two evenly matched squads were neck and neck during most of the game, but it was the Blazers who fully utilized their strong defense and nailed their free throws to win the game 61-59 in overtime.
Blair corrected previous mistakes in a much-improved game from their last loss. "We played well in overtime. We made our lay-ups. We had fewer turnovers," coach Kristin Werdann said. "Our defense worked hard and kept their hands up."
The Blazers did not meet much resistance with a ten-point lead during the first quarter, but the Warriors rallied back and scored 19 points during the second period to tie the game at halftime. Frequent turnovers often led Sherwood to easy baskets. Although the Warriors' biggest lead of the game was merely three points at the end of the third quarter, it was enough to reinvigorate their spirits and keep the Blazers on their toes.
Close to a third of Blair's points came from free throws, compared to Sherwood's six points. During the fourth quarter, freshman Kymahni West scored eight points, six of which were foul shots. Freshman Meghan Cadigan was fouled and took away the last point to tie the game at 51 all with 32 seconds left in regulation.
By the time the game went into overtime, three of Sherwood's players had been fouled out, and West was fouled out with 1:14 on the clock. West, the team's top scorer, finished the game with 23 points, and sophomore Ebony Winfield came in second with 14 points. Cadigan was close behind with 12 points.
The Blazers win was well deserved and hard earned. Sherwood's fast breakaways often left the Blazers trailing and fighting to recover. However, Blair's weighty defense stopped the ball within the arc. The team as a whole grabbed 50 rebounds, and Winfield had a remarkable six blocks. Two impressive back-to-back blocks kept Sherwood from passing and left Blair fans cheering during the third quarter.
"It was the first time in a long time that we really worked as a team," West expressed. "If we play more team ball, we will win more games."
The Blazers' next game is at Richard Montgomery this Friday, Jan. 14, at 5:15 pm.
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