By Avi Wolfman-Arent, Sportswriter
JAN. 6, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM-
The Springbrook Blue Devils defeated the Blair girls' junior varsity basketball team 33-21 on Jan. 6, handing Blair its fifth straight loss and dropping the Blazers' record to 2-5. Springbrook dominated from the beginning, accumulating an early fifteen point lead and never allowing the Blazers to get back in the game. The Blazers were troubled by a chronic lack of offense and seemed uninspired in one of their sloppiest lackluster performances.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a quick advantage and by the second quarter led at 14-3. Although Blair matched Springbrook evenly in the second half, the Blazers could not overcome a terrible first half in which they mustered only four points and trailed by fifteen at the break. In the second half the Blazers showed fleeting spurts of impressive play, but their lack of offensive spark caused them to never be closer than nine points.
Blair offense was headed by freshman forward Ashley Bayton, who had seven points, and freshman guard Krista Byrd, who contributed six points. The Blazers' consistent offensive leader, sophomore co-captain Monique Eldridge, added three points. Another notable performance was put forth by freshman guard Helen Denbow, who added valuable minutes. The Blazers needed all the help they could get off the bench with sophomore co-captain Sarah Kenney being a late scratch from the starting line-up due to illness.
Coach Julia Nation was not disappointed as much with the Blazers' physical performance as with their mental focus. "Mentally, as a team, we're not here together on the floor," she remarked. Nation also cited turnovers as a major area of concern, saying, "We start out nervous and tight and we make a lot of mistakes."
The Blazers' next game is Monday, Jan. 12 at Blake.