Blair falls to Gaithersburg 38-61
Nelson H. Kobren Gymnasium, Feb. 17
The girls' basketball team (8-11) struggled against nearly undefeated Gaithersburg High School (16-2) due to some poor execution, mishandling of the ball and overall unsteady efforts. Though the team kept up an aggressive defense at the beginning of the game, the Lady Blazers lost the energy to remain competitive by the second half and lost, 38-61.
The second half of the game marked an unfortunate turning point for the Blazers. Starting the third quarter down by seven points, Blair fought to close the margin by attempting to maintain a solid defense. However, the ladies began to suffer from a lack of confidence in their performance against the Trojans and were not as precise with their passes and shots compared to the first half.
Senior point guard Inkera Patterson focused with great drive as she tried to steal rebounds and send the ball to her teammates, especially in the last few minutes of the third quarter. After a few failed attempts, Patterson executed a sharp assist two minutes before the end of the quarter, cutting the deficit a bit with the score, 31-44. The quarter ended with a 13 point gap between the Blazers and Trojans, leaving the score at 33-46. "I think that there were a few possessions that took a shot at our confidence this quarter," head coach Erin Conley said.
The Lady Blazers decelerated their perseverance and gradually grew less consistent in their scoring and passing as the fourth quarter progressed. Meanwhile, the Trojans demonstrated agility and clear court vision since the beginning of the fourth quarter. Throughout the entire game, they successfully exploited the weaker middle section of Blair's defense to execute smooth layups. Their solid teamwork within the first three minutes of the game brought the score to their favor, 35-56. "They were tough to get around and defend," Conley said. "They were really good aggressive offensive players."
A bubble of tension rose during that last few minutes when the Lady Blazers stepped up their communication and teamwork for a cohesive defense. With two minutes and 45 seconds left, junior forward Sarah McMillian and sophomore guard Adri Jackson caught rebounds, but unsuccessfully attempted assists to sophomore point guard Myla Sapp and sophomore forward Rose Kalala respectively.
Despite the Lady Blazers' efforts, the Trojans scored a three point shot within the last thirty seconds of the game, securing the 38-61 win.
Although the girl's team lost, Conley is proud of their training and performance. "We've been working on one to one defense during practices," she said. "I do think their guards are really good, and we did a really good job defending them."
The Lady Blazers play their next home game against Rockville on Feb. 23 at 7:00 p.m.
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