Tensions rise as Colonels down Blazers 66-39

Feb. 3, 2011, 12:05 p.m. | By Gardi Royce | 13 years, 4 months ago

Magruder shoots down Blair for ninth straight loss

As they have all season, the Blazers (3-13) came out strong against the favored Colonels (15-1) but faltered late in the game and failed to pull off the upset.

With one of the best squads in the area, the Colonels have dominated opponents this season, falling only once to another heavyweight Springbrook. Yet the resilient Blazers took the court unwilling to be run over by the dynamic Magruder team.

As tip-off began, the Blazers maintained good ball movement, creating open shots and a fluid offensive tempo. Yet it was their tight defense that helped force bad shots and create turnovers that allowed the Blazers to grab a 10-9 lead going into the second quarter.

Lucas Babinec drains a three on the whole team. Photo courtesy of Andrew Kirwan.

However, as it has been through out the season, this was simply a tale of two different Blair teams.

Coming out of the first quarter with momentum and the lead, the Blazers looked to capitalize on their tough defense and successful ball movement; however, as good teams do, the Colonels came out swinging. With stifling defense and a barrage of three pointers, Magruder held the Blazers to three points while building a 26-13 lead heading into halftime. Senior guard Charles Ruffin felt the team's inexperience was to blame for their failure. "We aren't used to success and don't have the experience to keep pushing once we have some good things going,” he said.

Unfortunately, Magruder exploited this inexperience as the second half continued, though the Blazers played well in the third quarter, their previous deficit proved insurmountable. Spreading the floor and swinging the ball, the Blazers were able to establish good shots and showed glimpses of the potential they have exhibited all season.

Junior center Tucker Canary crosses over the basketball in front of the other opposing player. Photo courtesy of Andrew Kirwan.

Yet as the half dragged on, Magruder simply made shots while the Blazers struggled to knock down open looks.

While the Blazers played valiantly at times, they had no reply for Magruder's three point onslaught. Though their defense has proved a crucial part of Blair's team, the Colonels had wide-open three point shots throughout the night, and with a team stacked with shooters, they capitalized.

Dalonte Gaskin shoots a free throw.  Photo courtesy of Andrew Kirwan.

Head coach Mark DeStefano broke down the game and why the Blazers lost. "It's a game of runs and momentum and they responded when challenged, we've got to rebound, defend and take care of the basketball. Do those things and we can win,” he said.

While the end result wasn't what they were hoping for, the Blazers have shown progress in their offense. At the beginning of the season, Blair struggled executing their offense, failing to spread the floor and set up shots. Yet as the season has progressed, the Blazers have improved their offensive sync, playing with determination and purpose. Senior forward Ethan Brown lead the Blazers with 13 points. His play kept the Blazers within striking range for most of the game, nailing countless jump shots all over the court.

Yet sadly, as their ninth straight loss became a reality, tensions began to boil over, showing the anger and frustration that comes with a losing season. An unnamed source vented his feelings about the current season, saying, "Man it's just chaos, total chaos. People are mad at each other, pissed at coaches, mad at themselves, we gotta pull together if we wanna make a push for the playoffs.” This type of outburst is to be expected as the Blazers are challenged with overcoming their own demons, something they must do before they can work on beating other teams.

Player's emotions aside, the Blazers will look to break their losing streak against Gaithersburg in their next game, something standout junior guard Tucker Canary understand fully. "We got to give it our all, we're not working hard enough, not getting good enough shots, we just gotta play harder,” he said. They hope to use their passion and energy to make a strong push come playoff time.

The varsity boys' basketball team will play their next home game on Monday, Feb. 7 against Sherwood at 7:00 p.m.

Tags: Boys Basketball

Gardi Royce. Gardi hails from the wine country in California. He is a surfer who enjoys calm nights on a peaceful sunset sailing in a boat. He is a amateur blackjack dealer who spends his free time in dark casinos with old men. His favorite book is … More »

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