SILVER SPRING — Heading into their rematch with Kennedy and its vaunted full-court press, Blair was keenly aware of the importance of ball security.
That awareness paid off on Friday night, as the Blazers stunned the No. 17 Cavaliers, 63-60.
“We had two good days of practice, with (Kennedy) they throw so much pressure at you,” Blair Coach Damon Pigrom said. “We just really worked on getting the ball out of pressure and then attacking”
In the first quarter, Kennedy forced Blair into six turnovers and converted three of them into fast-break layups to take an early 16-14 lead. Blair answered with a 3-pointer from Demetri Cooper and a pair of free throws from Julius Cobb to lead 19-16 after the first quarter.
Blair entered halftime with a 36-26 lead after holding the Cavaliers to 10 points in the second quarter.
Kennedy opened the second half with a new sense of urgency, chopping Blair’s 10-point lead to 47-44 with a 13-5 burst, capped by a Tavarez layup.
In the fourth quarter, Kennedy’s Johnathon Mustamu tied the game at 47-all, but Blair closed the deal with a 10-2 run to take a 57-49 lead.
Demetri Cooper, Anthony Smith-Davis, Von Natividad and Elyas Bisle sealed the win at the free throw line.
On the night, all five starters for Blair scored in double figures, led by Ethan Price (15 points) and Demetri Cooper (14 points on five 3-pointers).
“Our bench showed up big, everyone showed up tonight,” Demetri said “Played their role and everyone performed good”.
For Kennedy, Johnathon Mustamu led the way with a game high 19 points