NEW PARIS —The National Trail boys’ basketball team has now lost its last five games, after having picked up its first Cross County Conference victory over Ansonia on Friday, Jan. 15.
Newton, Mississinawa Valley and Preble Shawnee all defeated the Blazers throughout last week, as the Blazers fall to 3-13 on the season.
The week started on Tuesday, Jan. 26, when the Blazers hosted Newton and fell, 74-41.
The Blazers turned the ball over a season-high 25 times in the contest, which National Trail head coach Mike Harrison was quick to point out as his team’s downfall.
The game started fine for the Blazers who saw Newton jump out to an early, but slim, lead at 14-9 after the first quarter.
Newton’s offense, however, began capitalizing on the Blazers’ mistakes and the team exploded for 20-plus points in each of the next two quarters.
Newton opened the lead to 12 by halftime, leading the Blazers 34-22 going into the break. By the end of the third Newton led 57-31, building an insurmountable lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The final buzzer sounded with Newton winning 74-41.
Peyton Harrison led the Blazers with 13 points and Chase Thompson scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds. Dalton Mason led with nine rebounds.
On Friday, Jan. 29, the Blazers allowed a first half lead slip away as the team fell on the road to Mississinawa Valley, 48-40.
The Blazers only turned the ball over twice in the first half, allowing them to open a lead as large as 13 in the second quarter against an athletic Blackhawk team.
In the second half, the Blackhawks turned up the pressure and forced 14 National Trail turnovers, allowing the home team a chance to rally for the win.
Mississinawa took the lead with five minutes to go at 41-40, and the Blazers were unable to score the remainder of the game.
Harrison led with 14 points and three assists, Travis Hunt made three 3-pointers for nine points. Kaleb Deardorff led with nine rebounds.
“This would have been easily our biggest victory of the season and it was a big disappointment to not be able to finish,” a disappointed Harrison said after the game. “The first half might have been as good as we have played all season.”
On Saturday, Jan. 30, turnovers once again plagued the Blazers, as they traveled to Preble Shawnee and lost 64-43.
The Arrows jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they used full-court pressure to dictate the pace of the game.
National Trail was never really in the game, as Preble Shawnee took a 19-point lead into halftime.
Thompson had a monster game despite the loss, scoring 23 points, grabbing 19 rebounds and recording five blocked shots in the contest.
National Trail is now 3-13 overall and 1-8 in the Cross County Conference. The Blazers travel to Eaton on Feb. 2, before hosting Franklin Monroe on Friday, Feb. 5, and visiting Tri-County North on Saturday, Feb. 6.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062, or on Twitter at aschmidt_RH.