Blair’s girls' varsity basketball team finished second in the nation at the 2019 independent school national championship, held February 22 and 23 in North Carolina. Having placed fifth at last year’s prep nationals, the Lady Bucs notched three key tournament wins to achieve second place this year.
On Friday afternoon, Blair overwhelmed a depleted Comenius School 68-35. Olivia Miles ’21 led the Lady Bucs’ effort with 19 points, while Camille Clarin ’19 scored 15 points and Tabitha Amanze ’22 contributed 10 points.
Later that same day, Blair played prep power Crestwood from Ontario, Canada, the consensus #1 team in Canada. In an epic heavyweight battle, Blair took the lead early and barely held on to a 71-68 win when a potential tying shot clanged off the rim at the buzzer. Dominique Darius ’21 (27 points), Olivia (23 points) and Thuraya Abdul-Hamid ’19 (10 points) led the team in scoring.
On Saturday, Blair took on the top team in Quebec and the #2 team in Canada, St. Laurent. Avenging a loss earlier this season, Blair won in overtime 70-63 in a game that saw 15 lead changes. In the heart-pounding final minutes, Camille hit a three to put Blair ahead by one point. After a St. Laurent score, Tabitha hit a reverse layup to again put Blair up one. A free throw by St. Laurent tied the game, but Dominique hit a running layup off a gorgeous pass from Olivia. St. Laurent made a layup to send the game to overtime, but Blair finished with a jumper from Thuraya and five points from Olivia, which propelled the Lady Bucs to the finals. Dominique and Olivia led the scoring with 28 and 19 points, respectively.
In the final, Blair lost to an undefeated Westridge Academy, falling by nine points. Camille scored a team-high 14 points, upping her total three-pointers to 99 this season.
"We have played one of the most challenging schedules in the country, and it was so gratifying to play our best basketball this late in the season," said Quint Clarke ’87, head girls' basketball coach. "More than their obvious talent, I was impressed with the team members’ character, poise and grit as they rose to this level on the biggest stage. This is a special group of people, and I'm fortunate to work with them."