Basketball concludes season with 76-51 playoff loss
The boys' basketball team fell to a tough Damascus High School team 76-51 in the Nelson H. Kobren Memorial Gymnasium on Mar 1.
The Blazers, as in most games this season, fell behind early and were never able to recover. They managed only to put up four more points in the entire game than Damascus put up in the first half.
At one point in the second quarter, the Swarming Hornets were up by 28 points before the Blazers ignited a small rally to close the gap.
Damascus' senior guards Mike Keller and Alex Mitchell were red hot all game. They combined to score 37 of their team's 76 points. The two guards' clutch shooting kept the Blazers at bay all afternoon.
Redeeming the game for the Blazers was athletic forward/center Charles Atakora, who added 15 points, a little more than his 13 points-per-game average.
Atakora scored all of Blair's third-quarter points and led the team in scoring.
Finishing the season 7-15, a far cry from last year's 20-4 record, left a sour taste in senior forward Jamie Platky's mouth. "[This season] did not turn out like I expected," said Platky. "We made the same mistakes throughout the entire year."
This year's squad lacked the veteran leadership that teams need to succeed. By the end of the year, the Blazers had lost four of seven seniors, two of whom were starters. "We had a lot of new guys, and when we lost our seniors, a lot of leadership was lost," said Platky. "That leadership would have been crucial in terms of learning from our mistakes."
The Blazers will enter next season optimistic because they will lose only three seniors, and leading scorer junior Charles Atakora is coming back.
The team will also have contributing reserves such as juniors John Beckwith and Perry Smith and sophomore Brandon Curry back for more hoops. Next year's team will be experienced at every position except for center.
Junior Daryl Hall will run the point like he did much of this season, backing up senior Max Blackburn. Curry or Smith could start at shooting guard while Beckwith could start at small forward.
Because of next year's lack of size, Atakora will most likely be strictly a power forward, unlike this year when he sometimes got playing time at the the small forward position.
As for the center position, a sophomore will have to step up and fill the void, but if recent trends continue, the team will most likely be composed of athletic guards who can run the floor and play transition basketball.
The team has been missing a true center since 6'3" bruiser Bert Williams transferred two seasons ago.
Next year's squad will have lots of talent and senior leadership, much like the team from two years ago that went 20-4 behind seniors Ellis Yeadon, Cyril Doujkeng and Chijoke Anyanwu.
Calvin Anderson. Calvin Anderson was born in Washington D.C. on January 3rd 1986. He now lives with his mom in Takoma Park Maryland. Calvin is the man behind the infamous column Cal's Call. In addition to writing his column he enjoys playing sports including lacrosse and basketball … More »