Boys' basketball blows out Whitman


Jan. 5, 2002, midnight | By Ben Penn | 22 years, 5 months ago

Blazers win fourth straight and maintain first place in division


JAN 5, 2002, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM -

The division-leading Blair basketball team (7-2, 5-0), playing its first home game in over two weeks, remained true to its season-long mode of operation and blew away Walt Whitman High School on Saturday afternoon, 79-49.

Blair played incredible defense that forced the Vikings (3-6, 0-4) into 14 turnovers, which led to many Blazer points. "We don't have any size, so we have to steal it, we have to push the ball," said Coach Jeff Newby. "And Whitman had A.J. Burton, who was killing us inside. The way we can get away from that is if we can push the ball and negate their half-court offense and we have an opportunity to do some things that are to our strengths rather than to their strengths. All year we've talked about our defense helping out our offense."

Burton, Whitman's leading scorer with 17 points, was actually wearing a Blair uniform in last year's summer-league since he was planning on transferring to Blair. But the center's plans to transfer from Richard Montgomery High School fell through and he is now averaging 15 points per game for the Vikings.

The Blazers sure didn't appear to miss him. They jumped out to a 22-8 first quarter lead, with the majority of their points coming on open lay-ups. Blair then lost its focus in the second quarter and allowed the tall but sluggish Vikings to hold a 20-14 scoring edge in the period.

At the start of the third quarter, the Blazers jumped out of the gates and it was the first quarter all over again. "We were always finding the open man, always getting the lay-up. And that's how we're going to win games, by being unselfish like that," said Newby.

A great story for the team of late has been the surprising play of senior forward Chijioke Anyanwu. Coming into the season, senior guards Ellis Yeadon and Cyril Djoukeng were expected to carry the team, while Anyanwu would assume the position of role player. But it was Anyanwu who led the team in scoring (18 points) against Whitman and who was named MVP of the Outback Holiday Tournament played on Dec 27-28 at Gaithersburg High School. "I feel real good because my team has more faith in me. My shots are falling because it's all about confidence," said Anyanwu.

Yeadon contributed 12 points and seven steals and senior forward Javier Ramos (13 points) and Djoukeng (11 points, seven assists) also reached double figures in scoring.



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Ben Penn. Ben Penn, a senior in the Communication Arts Program, is thrilled to be taking on the role of managing sports editor for Silver Chips. While holding the position of page editor last year, Ben is proud to say that he was the only person on … More »

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