Blazers come close, fall to RM
JAN. 14, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM—
The Blair Blazers have had problems this season gelling on the court, failing to put together the smooth passes and accurate shots on offense they need to win games as well as the solid defense that will keep opponents in their sights and limit free-throw opportunities for other teams. Tonight was no different. The Blazers stuck with RM in a very physical match-up until mid-way through the second quarter, when they began to fade. As RM ran away with the game (winning 48-41), Blair saw an opportunity to redeem a lackluster season slip through their hands.
The match-up began relatively evenly in the first quarter, with RM showing a mediocre game the Blazers could easily run with. The Blair defense was solid throughout the first quarter, evidence that energy is a big factor in Blair's inconsistency. However, aggression at the net came at the cost of three free-throw opportunities for the Rockets, who took advantage. Despite scoring only 6 points from the field to Blair's 12, RM was able to stay even with the Blazers by sinking 100% of their foul shots. The quarter was not without the customary leadership of seniors Brittany Higgins and Jawana Henderson, both starters. Higgins scored a pretty lay-up with seven seconds left in the quarter to even out the score at 12-12.
The second quarter began in much the same fashion; both teams were playing with zeal, desperately trying to keep the other from gaining the lead. A full minute passed by with neither team scoring. Again, committing excessive fouls proved to be a problem for the Blazers. RM sank three free-throws of an attempted six, while Blair did not have any opportunities to shoot from the foul line. Junior Rahesia McDonald contributed a lovely jump shot in the fifth minute and senior Vicky Dean a nice steal in the seventh, but Blair still ended down by five at the half-time buzzer (21-16).
Consistent shooting was lacking as the girls entered the second half. Blair sank only three shots in the quarter in addition to two free-throws from Henderson, giving them only eight points in the period to RM's 17. Blair also remained desperate and, as a result, sloppy, on defense, allowing RM to score six points from foul shots and committing multiple turnovers. Down 38-24 at the buzzer, the Blazers were beginning to lose hope.
Redemption, in reality, lay only a few three-pointers away. The girls began to realize this as the beginning of the final period found Henderson scoring a lay-up assisted by McDonald and Higgins contributing a three-point play. It was evident that Blair had a rally in mind mid-way through the quarter, as the already rough game got even more physical. Fouls by both teams—especially Blair—were at their highest, frustrating the already worn-down Blazer squad and slowing the tempo of the game. In the sixth minute, Higgins delivered a crowd-silencing three-pointer, bringing her team within six points of a tie. However, time was not in Blair's favor, and they could do little to stem the last minute efforts from RM. At the buzzer, Blair lost 48-41 to the Rockets.
The Blazers' next game is Friday, Jan. 21 vs. Damascus at 5:15 p.m.
Ellie Blalock. Ellie is a SENIOR in the CAP program at Blair. She enjoys such activities as traveling, being able to say "water" in six languages and having heart-to-heart chats with eccentric politicians. If you're in need of a laugh, please ask Ellie about her driving record...you … More »