Girls' basketball outmaneuvers Walter Johnson
NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM, – Feb. 23
It was not a fight on senior night for the varsity girls' basketball team. The Lady Blazers comfortably defeated the Walter Johnson Wildcats (8-12) by a score of 71-53. The team easily dominated the play, but frequent turnovers to Walter Johnson prevented a wider margin of victory.
"It was a good win," head coach Erin Conley said. According to Conley, the excitement of senior night motivated the team to perform well. Senior Inkera Patterson secured several turnovers and raced down the court to make successful layups. "Inky really led the team," Conley said. The team had a total of 15 offensive rebounds and 18 defensive rebounds.
Despite the general energy, defensive weaknesses allowed turnovers and breakaway layups against Blair. "Our adrenaline wasn't focused in the right places," Conley said. "Defensively we could have done a better job." The team had to switch to zone defense because they were not rotating enough in man-to-man.
In the first half, the score was continually even. However, the team never felt at risk of losing the game. By the second half, the team maintained a lead of about 10 points. "We didn't show our top game tonight, but luckily for us it wasn't a very difficult game," junior Janet Henkai said.
The Lady Blazers recognized Darcy Pelz-Butler, Inkera Patterson, Emily Hedrick and Sara Okilj, the four graduating seniors, in a ceremony at the beginning of the game. All seniors participated in the starting line-up.
An assistant coach from Walter Johnson said that defensive errors contributed to the loss. "We let them get too much penetration," he said. "We continued to make the same mistakes without making adjustments. We had moments where we gave a lot of effort but overall we were subpar with our effort," he said.
The Lady Blazers will take on Wootton in their first playoff on Friday at Blair. Blair has not played Wootton this year, although Wootton has won games against teams that have beaten Blair. Nonetheless, they plan to maintain confident during Friday's game. "I think the past two games have been really great to get us pumped for our playoff game on Friday," Henkai said. "We have to refine our defense in the next two practices before Friday's game."
The girl's varsity basketball team will begin their playoff season on Friday, Feb. 26 against Wooton at 7 p.m.
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