SPORT REPORT • BY TEIGHLER DOAK
With the springlike weather here in Takoma Park and Silver Spring areas, one might think that the local high school sports scene would be on the baseball and softball fields. But while the diamonds will remain barren for a few more months, plenty of high school sports action can still be found in the local gymnasiums.
The Montgomery Blair High School girls basketball team, lead by coach Erin Conley, is boasting a 13-3 overall record with an 8-1 in conference mark. The Blazers currently sit alone atop the Montgomery County-4A East Division.
After finishing the previous season with a 12-11 overall record, the Blazers struggled out of the gate losing two of their first three games in the 2011-2012 campaign. The loses came at the hands of Gaithersburg, the number nine ranked girls basketball team in Maryland according to Maxpreps.com, and Walter Johnson, a team that currently holds an impressive 12-3 overall record. Following the Walter Johnson loss, The Blazers went on a tear, winning their next ten games before eventually falling to Springbrook 64-62. Since the Springbrook loss, the Blair ladies have picked up right where they left off, winning their next two games over in conference foes Sherwood and Blake.
With seven more games remaining in the regular season, the team appears to be gearing up for a strong state playoff push. The team will rely heavily on Sacred Heart University commit, Johanna Lopez. According to allmetrosports.com, Lopez, a senior forward, averages 23.6 points per game. Lopez has been recognized as one of the top girls basketball players in the area by being named First Team All Gazette, in her past two seasons.
The Blazers will clinch a Montgomery County – 4A East Division title with a win in their last conference game against Kennedy High School. The Blair ladies can also claim the conference crown if second place, Paint Branch (7-2 in conference) loses to third place, Springbrook (6-3 in conference).
While the Blair girl’s basketball team got off to a slow start, their male counter-parts appeared to debunk the idea of early season rust. The Blair High School Boy’s Basketball team opened the 2011-2012 season with a bang, winning three of their first four contests. The Blazers opened up the season by beating Gaithersburg. Just a few days later, the Blazers trumped Northwood by a final score of 66-64. After a loss to Walter Johnson, the Blazers appeared to right- the-ship when they knocked off Bethesda- Chevy Chase.
After a stretch where the team could seemingly do no wrong on the court, the Blair boy’s basketball team went on a mid-season slump that included dropping 11 of their next 12 games en route to a 4-12 overall, 0-9 league mark.
Although the record may look dismal, the Blazers play in what could be considered, one of the top basketball conferences in the state of Maryland. According to Maxpreps.com, The Montgomery County Boys 4-A East Basketball Division features four teams ranked in the top 50 in the entire state. The division leading, Springwood Blue Devils, tops all teams in the conference and are regarded as the eighth best in the state.
The Blazers currently have six games remaining in the regular season. Although the team will not make the playoffs, the future looks bright. The Blazers roster currently consists of four seniors and nine underclassmen. Despite the team being loaded with underclassmen, senior leadership has lead the way this season. The teams top three scorers, Theo Remy, Tucker Canary and Rick Narcisse will all depart from the team via graduation.
Away from the hardwood and onto the mat, the wrestlers of Blair High School are also in season. The mat men have struggled in the 2011-2012 season, managing just two, team meet victories thus far. The squad’s first win of the season came against Sherwood by a score of 46-24. The Blazers earned their second victory of the season, as well as their second victory in a row, when they downed Oxon Hill and E. Roosevelt by a final of 66-16.
The Blair wrestling team is lead by co-captains, Chris Wells and Billy Saturo. Saturo is a returning 140-pound, 3A / 4A State Qualifier from a year ago, who is looking to make a run back into states at the conclusion of the team-wrestling season.
There’s still plenty of time to watch the local high school sports stars compete. Whether you’re a mother, father, aunt, uncle or just an avid sports fan, stop by the Blair gym to cheer on our young athletes.
For more information visit: http://www.blairathletics.org/