Blazers struggle on the road against Ansonia


NEW PARIS —The National Trail Lady Blazers saw two poor first quarters lead to two road losses on the week as they fell to Ansonia on Thursday, Jan. 14 and Lincoln (Indiana) on Saturday, Jan. 16 after being down double digits after the first quarter in both contests.

On Thursday, the Blazers saw Ansonia jump out to a 15-2 lead after the first quarter, and Trail found themselves facing an uphill battle on the road the rest of the way.

The Tigers led the entire course of the contest after the big first quarter lead, and the Blazers suffered their third straight loss.

It was 25-13 heading into the break. The Blazers eventually trimmed the lead to eight in the third quarter but soon ran out of gas and the Tigers spent the remainder of the game pulling away.

The final score was Ansonia 49, National Trail 27.

The Blazers were led by JaLynn Byrd’s 13 points, four steals and three rebounds. Payten Laird scored four points, grabbed seven rebounds and forced two steals.

On Saturday, the team traveled to Indiana to face Lincoln, Indiana who also jumped out to an early lead on the Blazers, taking a 21-3 after the first quarter.

Once again National Trail found themselves facing an uphill battle on the road and were unable to get back into the game.

By halftime the Blazers were down 41-11 and the game was virtually over.

The Blazers played well in the second half and closed the lead, but it wasn’t enough and Lincoln went on to win 55-31.

Savanna Abner scored eight points and created two steals. Gracie Jones scored six and Evan Byrd scored six points, recorded three rebounds and forced two steals in the contest.

“We have to be able to get started from tip and not be waiting until the second and third quarters to start playing well,” head coach Troy Ferguson said after the game.

Ferguson is also concerned about his team’s defense. “We also have to get better defensively, after allowing both teams this week to shoot over 50 percent from the floor.”

“We haven’t played well this calendar year. We’re gonna keep getting after it, keep coaching these girls up, keep getting better,” Ferguson said as his team has now dropped four straight.

The Blazers are now 5-10 overall and 3-5 in the Cross County Conference. The Blazers face Monroe on Tuesday, Jan. 19, Bethel on Thursday, Jan. 21 and Covington on Saturday, Jan. 23.

By Austin Schmidt

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Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062, or on Twitter @aschmidt_RH.

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