Loss to Trojans masks team's improvements
NELSON H. KOBREN GYMNASIUM, FEB. 21 –
The girls' varsity basketball team fell to the Gaithersburg Trojans in a one-sided 30-60 rout in their final game of the season.
The Blazers started off senior night with a jump ball in Gaithersburg's favor. Immediately after recovering the ball from the Trojans on a turnover, Blair came up against a very aggressive full court press that trapped them behind the half court line. The pressure disrupted the offense and neither side was able to score in the first two minutes due to a number of off-balance shots.
Gaithersburg finally started the game's scoring with an unanswered six point run before junior Saba Aregai returned with a two-point field goal. Senior Christina Mullen followed with another shot and helped the Blazers close out the quarter down 14-4.
In the second quarter, the Trojan full court press stifled the Blazer offense like it had in the first. The Blazers finally broke through when senior Meghan Cadigan weaved past three defenders to get off a shot. Junior Ashley Arnold also penetrated the paint and made the most of her two foul shots, making the score 22-12.
Offensively, Gaithersburg exploited Blair's tendency to bunch up under the basket. Trojan point guard Diana Prather would drive up the middle then dish out to a teammate for a wide open jumper, catching the Blazers off guard many times.
In the final two minutes of the second quarter, the ball changed hands five times, with no one scoring, until Mullen sunk an awe-inspiring buzzer beater in last two seconds. Gaithersburg's lead was narrowed to 14-2 in an intense but seemingly winnable game.
The third quarter became increasingly bleak as the minutes passed. In four minutes, Gaithersburg scored seven points and shut down the Blazers' already feeble offense. Blair faced an increasingly formidable defense and was barely able to move the ball down court. Junior Jenny Williams was left open for a three, but was quickly answered by a Trojan shooter in the next possession. Gaithersburg's scoring run continued, leaving the Blazers down at the half 42-19.
Returning from the break, the Blazers were able to refocus to beat the Trojan press, but it was too little too late. The Trojan lead continued to stretch in the fourth quarter despite increased production from seniors Kalisha Holmes, with a three to end an eight-point Gaithersburg run, and Cadigan and Mullen who contributed two points each. Juniors Arnold and Williams also drew fouls for two points each.
Early in the game, the Trojans took advantage of the Blazer's mechanical style of play. "We came out too tight," said Cadigan, echoing a common sentiment among teammates.
"I would've liked to end on a win but we had a lot of good points" added junior Ramita Dewan.
Though the result was disappointing, coach Erin Conley was proud of the team's accomplishments throughout an intense season of growth and improvement. "Even though we lost, our seniors played great and I think we played well" she said.
Sean Howard. There is a spy among us and his name is Sean Howard. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Sean moved to Germantown prior to his current residence in Gaithersburg. Although he has now lived in Maryland for most of his life, he has retained his loyalty to … More »