Playoff predictions for Winter '03
The winter sports regular season is coming to an end, and the all-important post-season looms ahead. All the winter teams had respectable seasons, but none as spectacular as the boys' basketball team's 16-3 mark.
Led by senior guards Cyril Djoukeng and Ellis Yeadon, this group of ballers has found the secret to success: team speed. Their quickness has enabled them to consistently beat solid teams and dominate the weaker ones. Capitalizing on transition buckets is a major strength of this team, and in order to stay successful they must keep it up. Quick, precise passing in Blair's transition game has led to easy lay-ups throughout the season, and in the playoffs these points will be vital to Blair's success.
No team in the county can match the Blazers' speed, but some could out-muscle them. Quince Orchard High School (QO), one of the strongest teams in the county, bullied the Blazers on Dec 20 and defeated them 65-52.
The Blazers can only overcome this problem if Djoukeng, Yeadon and senior Chijioke "Jokey" Anyanwu to have big games against QO like they had in this season's two victories over Springbrook High School, another big team. They must eliminate turnovers and control the pace of the game, which in Blair's case means capitalizing on all fast breaks and transition buckets.
In order for Blair to play with Magruder High School, who beat the Blazers early in the season without their star player, sophomore Isaiah Swann, they must execute. Magruder is not as big as QO so the Blazers will be able to play more of a finesse game. Djoukeng must take over early and set the tempo for the Blazers. Stopping Swann is a different story; all I can say is good luck.
The girls' basketball team will not even reach my preseason prediction of a .500 record. The girls have worked hard to improve on last year's three-win season, especially considering their loss of last season's leading scorer to academic ineligibility this year. The girls have not looked to one individual to lead the team every night. Instead, different players have stepped up each night, whether it be senior guard Latasha Peace, senior center Erin Ivey, junior guard Lara Dean or sophomore center Emily Ramsay.
Unlike the girls, Blair's wrestlers have a shot at a title. Varsity wrestling seniors Mario Bracamontes, Mike Immerman and Cuong Vo will all be serious contenders for the county title in their weight classes. Individually, these three have helped the squad win many dual meets due to their individual strengths.
Cal's Call: I'd love to predict that all Blazer teams will to crush every team they meet in the playoffs, but I have my doubts. The boys' basketball team's lack of a center will catch up to them when they face upper-echelon teams. The Blazers will make it as far as Djoukeng and Yeadon take them, which pretty much means until they play QO. I figure we make it to the regional final, but the lack of size will prevent the boys from advancing further.
The girls will struggle in the playoffs. They'll only beat a team or two, but there's always next year.
Individually, the Blair wrestlers will do extremely well. Bracamontes will win his weight class at counties, and Immerman and Vo will place in the top three.
Calvin Anderson. Calvin Anderson was born in Washington D.C. on January 3rd 1986. He now lives with his mom in Takoma Park Maryland. Calvin is the man behind the infamous column Cal's Call. In addition to writing his column he enjoys playing sports including lacrosse and basketball … More »