Blazers dominate Northwest, 63-46
As the clock ticked down on their second win of the season, Blair JV boys' basketball coach Emanuel Charles looked pleased. His team played hard and was deserving of a win.
"I was really happy with our effort," he said. "We have to play with high intensity. That's our strength."
Throughout the contest, the Blazers hustled and showed effort, but looked a little raw at times. Both teams turned the ball over on their first possessions, showing some early jitters. But on Blair's second possession, freshman Erik Gilbert found an open lane, and took advantage by dunking home Blair's first two points of the game.
Blair played staunch defense throughout the first quarter, with freshman center Sampson Leon picking up a couple of blocks and guards Quentin Snively, Milton Colquehon and Wayne Henderson all recording multiple steals. Blair also turned the ball over, and each team had their share of uncontested fast break points.
With a turnover-filled quarter nearly over, Snively banked in a 20-foot heave from the left side as time expired, giving Blair a 13-10 lead.
Blair struggled mightily during the first half to get the ball across half-court and past the Jaguars' suffocating full-court press. After a 10-second violation and a few quick Jaguar baskets, the Blazers found themselves behind 14-13.
Four minutes in, Blair still had not scored a second-quarter bucket, so Charles called a set play that resulted in two Snively free throws. After finally getting on the board, the Blazers went on a run, finishing the half with a Colquehon buzzer beater and a 25-17 lead.
Blair looked unorganized to start the second half, running into each other on offense and giving up easy lay-ups on defense. The Jaguars took advantage of these errors and took an early 27-23 lead.
After a 14-4 Northwest run, Blair regained the lead with two minutes left in the third. Snively started to become a playmaker for Blair, scoring and dishing out assists. The quarter ended with Blair back on top, 35-31.
The Blazers finally came alive in the fourth quarter, going on a few quick runs to make the score 45-36. Colquehon led Blair in this period, recording three assists and a few jaw-dropping no-look passes. Sophomore Mohamed Mansaray got some easy baskets, and pushed the Blair lead to 13. By the end of the game, the Blazers were playing harder and better than their opponents.
After more Northwest turnovers and easy Blazer lay-ups, the final horn sounded with the score Blair 63, Northwest 46.
Snively finished with 16 points and six assists, while Mansaray quietly contributed 18 points. Snively said that for him, feeding his teammates is more satisfying than scoring himself. "I don't really look to score. I like to see [my teammates] score. That's just more fun for me," he said.
JV basketball's next game is Dec. 20 versus Springbrook at 5:15 at home.
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