JAN 4, MONTGOMERY BLAIR HIGH SCHOOL-
Whitman, Blair's "newly appointed rival," defeated the girls' basketball team tonight in overtime 66-63. Blair fell to 3-5 on the season after trouncing Sherwood 60-39 on Thursday, January 2.
The Blazers fell behind early but a 14-0 run in the second quarter gave Blair a 31-23 lead going into halftime. They extended their lead to nine at the end of the third quarter but an 11-1 fourth quarter run by Whitman gave the Vikings a 51-50 lead with 4:45 left in regulation.
Senior center Allyson Swailes, who had nine rebounds and a team-high 18 points on the night, drained a free throw after being fouled on a successful lay-up to add three late in the game. For what seemed like the first time this season, there was a great deal of intensity both on the court and in the stands. Senior point guard Lara Dean, who led the Blazers with six assists, sunk a short baseline jumper with ten seconds left in regulation to tie the score at 61. Good Blazer defense sent the game into overtime.
To start the four minute overtime period, Blair quickly fell behind by four, but senior guard Jen Sindall cut the deficit in half with a 20-foot jumper off a pass by Swailes. Sindall finished with 13 points, nine of which came in the second quarter, and five assists. In the closing seconds, the Blazers, down 66-63, got the ball in the hands of Sindall, their best long-range shooter. Unfortunately, she missed an open three-point opportunity to end the tough, adrenaline-filled game.
Junior guard Kidesh Brown had an astounding seven steals, sophomore guard Brittney Higgins produced ten points, and junior center Emily Ramsay finished with eight points and nine rebounds. Blair's points predominantly came in the paint.
Sloppy passes also led to the Blazers' demise. They failed to get a single assist in the first quarter. Coach Bill Lindsey said the team made some blunders. "We didn't play bad. We made mistakes. We got out-hustled, which is why we went to a small line up. Every time we relaxed, they took advantage of us," he said.
Swailes believes that the team loosened up late in the game and needed to play better defense. "We played really well. We lost a little bit of intensity at the end. If we're doing bad on offense we need to pick it up on defense because defense wins games," she said.
Earlier this week, Blair dominated against Sherwood, outscoring the Warriors in every quarter. Blair spread the scoring around as Brown had 15 points, Ramsay had 13, Sindall had 12 and Swailes had nine. The Blazers capitalized from the line, making 17 of 23 free throws.
Blair's next game is at home against Churchill, (7-2) the defending Maryland 4A champions, on Tuesday, January 7, at 7:00. Churchill is currently ranked eleventh in Montgomery County by The Washington Post.
Zach Mellman. Zach Mellman was born on October 18, 1956 (he was held back once or twice). He has lived in Takoma Park, Maryland his entire life. He is currently a senior at Blair enrolled in honors classes. He is also a member of Blair's golf team, … More »