Blazers choke in second half for another disappointing loss
NELSON H. KOBREN GYMNASIUM, Jan. 4-
The boys' varsity basketball team continued to tease its fans with another heartbreaking loss Friday night to the Springbrook Blue Devils, 63-48.
The underdog Blazers (2-4) stunned Springbrook in the second quarter by jumping out to a nine-point lead. But characteristic of all season, Blair squandered a fourth quarter advantage, allowing the Blue Devils to end the game with a 21-5 run. Senior guard and co-captain Milton Colquehoun led the Blazers with 16 points, junior forward Michael McClain put up 14 and senior center Issy Melton added 12.
"There was just a lack of energy and execution on the court tonight," senior guard Quentin Snively said. "In the second half especially there was some horrible decision making."
Springbrook's intensity radiated from the tip-off. The visitors penetrated easily and made Blair seem sluggish as they scored on their first three possessions. But a Blazer timeout turned things around. McClain got started with a four-point play when he was fouled on a shot from downtown. Junior center Leon Sampson's presence on the offensive glass gave the Blazers extra shots, helping Blair tie the game at 14-14.
The Blazers caught the Blue Devils flat-footed going into the second quarter. Colquehoun jumpstarted a 7-0 run with a quick three-pointer. In front for the first time, Blair turned their momentum into their largest lead, 23-14. Blair's zone defense effectively stumped Springbrook, who went scoreless for the first half of the second quarter. Despite Blair's inability to box out Springbrook for boards, the Blazers maintained at least a four point lead throughout the entire quarter, finishing 31-26 at halftime.
But the trip to the locker room deflated the Blazers. Springbrook returned to the court and delivered four consecutive three-pointers to regain the lead, 39-37. Both teams then proceeded to trade baskets. Blair continued to dish the ball into Melton, who proved too big for Springbrook to handle. Short jumpers from McClain and Colquehoun allowed the Blazers to seize an unexpected 43-42 lead.
But just as quickly as Blair went ahead, they fell far behind. Springbrook picked up their intensity and ran away in a 12-0 run. Down 54-43, the Blazers continued to miss opportunities to cut away at the deficit. Blair committed fouls to stop the clock, but only managed to inflate Springbrook's lead. The buzzer sounded with Blair still behind, the final score a disappointing 63-48.
"We just did not have the same level of intensity in the second half," McClain said. "We stay in games to the very end, and now we need to start putting them away."
The coaching staff declined to comment.
The Blazers' next home game is Friday, Jan. 11 against Magruder at 7 p.m.
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