By Avi Wolfman-Arent, Sportswriter
JAN. 16, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM -
The Blair girls' junior varsity basketball team suffered its eighth straight loss of the season on Jan. 16, this time to the Richard Montgomery Rockets, losing 44-26 and dropping the Blazers' record to 2-8. The Rockets capitalized on a dominating fourth quarter performance to pull away from a Blair team hampered by fatigued and sloppy play.
Blair played solidly for the first two quarters of the game and was trailing by just seven at halftime, 24-17. However, the Blazers never got closer than six in the second-half and saw their hopes for a comeback dissolve in a fourth quarter where they were outscored 11 to 2.
An exhausted and uninspired Blazer pack struggled in the fourth quarter, with countless turnovers and poor defensive rebounding. Richard Montgomery had two or three shots on every trip down the floor and the Blazers soon became worn down from constantly being on the defensive. The offense faired no better in the fourth quarter as the Rockets frustrated post players sophomores Monique Eldridge and Ashley Bayton who were held to a combined zero points in the second-half.
Coach Julia Nation said of the teams offensive quandaries, "We let ourselves get flurried and flustered; we played the opponents game." Nation also attributed the Blazer's late game fatigue to the accelerated rate of the game. "We got into our running game, you have to use some of the clock and make smart passes."
On a positive note, freshmen guard Helen Denbow had a breakout game, leading the team with 12 points. Eldridge added 7 points and sophomore Daniella Constantin came off the bench to add 3 points. Starting guards Krista Byrd and Sarah Kenney have missed the last two games for undisclosed reasons, but Nation expects them to return to the lineup next week.
Blair's next game is at home on Jan. 23 against Damascus.