By Avi Wolfman-Arent, Sportswriter
NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM -
Despite a valiant effort, the junior varsity girls' basketball team lost to the Damascus Hornets 49-31 on Jan. 23 to drop their record to 2-9. The Blazers kept the game close most of the way and proved to be a worthy opponent against a Damascus team that steamrolled them 49-11 earlier in the season.
Blair had a solid start, holding the offensive-driven Hornets to just 18 points in the first-half and trailing by just four at the break. However, fatigue and foul trouble set in as the second-half progressed, and the Hornets slowly extended their lead to 36-24 by the end of the third quarter. The Blazers, playing without starting forwards Monique Eldridge and Ashley Bayton for much of the second half due to foul trouble, could not find a way to slow down a hot-shooting Damascus squad. Eldridge, the team's offensive leader with 16 points, eventually fouled-out of the contest and the Blazers simply could not keep up with the offensive pace set by Damascus.
Although the loss, Blair's ninth in a row, was disappointing, Coach Julia Nation saw some bright spots in the team's performance. Nation was particularly proud of the ability of her bench to get involved. "There are a lot of people playing now that were not in there at the beginning of the year," she said.
Nation was most upset with her team's inability to defend without committing fouls, saying, "If Monique [Eldridge] and Ashley [Bayton] had not gotten in foul trouble it would have been close." Nation also remarked that her team failed to capitalize on their opportunities at the charity strike. "We have to make free throws; that would have helped us a lot."
The Blazers' next game is Jan. 27 at Magruder.