Girls' Basketball finishes 2nd at Prep Nationals

Girls' Basketball finishes 2nd at Prep Nationals
Rhett Moroses
Girls' Varsity Basketball

After finishing 5th last year, the Blair girls' basketball team again traveled to North Carolina for the Independent School National Championship, this time coming in 2nd place. On Friday afternoon, Blair overwhelmed a depleted Comenius School 68-35. Blair was led by sophomore Olivia Miles '21 with 19 points, senior Camille Clarin '19 with 15 points, and freshman Tabitha Amanze '22 with 10 points. 

Later that same day, Blair played prep power Crestwood out of Ontario, Canada, the consensus #1 team in Canada. In an epic heavyweight battle, Blair got the lead early and barely held off a 71-68 win when a potential tying shot clanged off the rim at the buzzer. Blair was lead by sophomore Dominique Darius '21 with 27 points, sophomore Olivia Miles '21 with 23 points, and senior Thuraya Abdul-Hamid '19 with 10 points. 

On Saturday, Blair took on the top team in Quebec and the #2 team in Canada, St. Laurent. Avenging an earlier loss, Blair won in overtime 70-63 in a game that saw 15 lead changes. In the heart pounding last minutes of the game, Camille Clarin '19 hit a three to put Blair ahead by 1. After a St. Laurent score, Tabitha Amanze '22, hit a reverse layup to again put Blair up one. After a free throw by St. Laurent tied it up, Dominique Darius '21 hit a running layup off a gorgeous pass from Olivia Miles '21. St. Laurent hit a layup to send the game to overtime. Blair finished the game with a jumper from Thuraya Abdul-Hamid '19 and 5 points from Olivia Miles '21, pushing Blair to the finals. For the game, Blair was led by 28 points from Dominique Darius '21 and 19 points from Olivia Miles '21.

In the final, Blair ran out of gas against an undefeated Westridge Academy, falling by nine points. Camille Clarin '19 led the way with 14 points, now making 99 three pointers on the 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 character, poise, and grit of this team in rising to this level on the biggest stage. This is a special group of people and I'm fortunate to work with them."

The final challenge for the Bucs will be on Tuesday, February 26th, as they host Pennington at 5:00 p.m for the NJISAA Prep A State Championship.