by Josh Averbach ’18
Sherwood has put together an impressive stretch of basketball in recent weeks, as the Warriors are on a three-game winning streak and have won six of their last seven. Most recently, Sherwood improved to a record of 8-7 after defeating a very good Paint Branch team 63-61 on Friday January 27. However, this positive trend is epitomized by their 49-27 win against Blake on Wednesday January 25.
The Warriors’ dominance largely stemmed from their stifling defense, particularly in the first half. Sherwood ran a full-court press, which stymied Blake’s offense and forced them into turnovers, which frequently led to easy Warrior baskets on fast breaks. Sherwood led 14-1 after the first quarter, and 28-6 at halftime. Blake did not manage to make their first field goal until about midway through the second quarter.
“Last night, we went into the game believing we would have the opportunity to press [aggressively and successfully] press in the full court and the coaches were correct” said coach Timothy Hobbs.
While Blake was never able to make the game competitive, Sherwood’s dominance did not continue after halftime; both teams scored 21 points in the second half. Blake managed to find some holes in Sherwood’s previously-dominant defense.
According Hobbs and senior Amanda Allen, Sherwood’s defense was less effective in the second half because the team stopped pressing and began experimenting with a 1-3-1 zone defense (one defender on the perimeter, three at the foul line level, and one inside). This was their first time using that defensive scheme in a game, so it was a work in progress.
Following the impressive wins against Blake and Paint Branch, the Warriors will look to remain dominant at Kennedy on January 31 and at Northwood on February 3.