Sunday, January 08, 2006

Slow Starts Doom Blazers

In their inaugural game of the year, the Blazers' slow starts in the first and third quarters sunk their hopes of winning, despite a valiant fourth quarter comeback. The 8-6 Bullets over Blazers final in the Huntsville International League U-6 Tip-off game kicked off the year in fine fashion and illustrated just how nail-biting every game this year might be for the Blazers.

Starting with a bang... the Bullets netted their first points a mere two minutes into the contest, and by the end of the quarter, they had garnered a 4-0 lead, which they never relinquished. However, the Blazer defense really picked it up in the following quarter. Midway through the second, a Blazer guard swished through his team's first basket and closed the gap to 4-2. Despite several shots, some just rimming out for both sides, the halftime score remained the same.

The third quarter started much like the first. The Blazers got caught out of position on defense early in the quarter, and when no help arrived, they found themselves again pulling the ball out of the basket down four points. With 55 seconds remaining in the third, Carson Pearce pulled down a defensive rebound, but a Bullet tied it up a second after. After a brief wrestling exchange, the Bullet yanked the ball free and unloaded an outside shot that found nothing but the bottom of the net. That shot proved the difference-maker.

Carson redeemed hiself with a an early fourth quarter steal from the backline, from where the Blazers pushed the ball down the court and took a quick shot. After a miss, a Blazer guard sprinted and obtained the offensive rebound, and he lobbed a long skip-pass over the defense to a wide-open Carson underneath. Carson's shot banked off the backboard and bounced to and fro on the rim before dropping through, closing the gap to 8-4. The comeback was on. Time became the Blazer's enemy, however, and missed opportunities their bane. Nonetheless, with time winding down to just over a minute, yet another Blazer guard threw up a prayer that was answered. With 55 seconds left, the Blazers had closed within a basket.

The Blazer crowd roared to put a charge in their boys, but the Bullet coach illustrated his basketball wisdom. The Bullets walked the ball down the courst and put their offense into deep freeze. Passes around the perimeter chewed up clock, and by the time the Blazers stole the ball with five seconds left, it proved too late. They dribbled down the court, but the buzzer sounded before a shot went off. A disappointed crew labored off the floor, but Blazer Nation held their heads up high. Their boys rebounded from near disaster to having the ball on the last possession with a chance to tie or win the game. The ill-fated comeback illustrated Blazer resilience for all to see, and where there's resilience, hope abounds. Next Saturday, the Blazers plan on translating that hope into glory.

[For the game, Carson had a bucket, about four or five steals, and a handful of rebounds (one handful, not two, that is). Also, he was excellent in his zone defense. He did have a turnover on an interior pass to nobody in particular, and letting the Bullet strip the rebound from him ended up costing his team. Nonetheless, all in all, he played with great effort, energy, and joy, and that's what I love to see. Nothing but praise from here. And since he scored, he was all smiles. Just in case it isn't apparent: I LOVE WATCHING MY BOY PLAY (of course, I could go on about his recital, too, but I don't think describing Yankee Doodle Dandy, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Jolly Ol' Saint Nicholas as played by my son on the piano is nearly as reader-friendly as a basketball game nobody but me cares about :)]

1 comment:

Rich said...


You can go on and notch a loss for the Blazers down on the side-bar. 0-7 is pretty remarkable for the three teams. Pretty depressing,too.

But we're changing all that come next Saturday!!!