NEW PARIS —The National Trail girls basketball team’s late season slide continues. The Blazers were unable to put an end to the losing streak on Saturday, Jan. 30, as they fell, 42-40, to Dayton Christian.
Despite shooting better than their opponents, the Blazers allowed Dayton Christian to secure 20 offensive rebounds for 13 second-chance points.
“We got a little loose with the ball, gave up too many second chances again and those things were costly for us,” head coach Troy Ferguson said.
“I thought we played well offensively,” he continued. “We were able to hit some shots, and that obviously helps, but we executed a little better at the offensive end as well.”
JaLynn Byrd led the Blazers with 13 points, four rebounds and three assists. Evan Byrd was the only other Blazer in double figures, scoring 11 points; she also grabbed five rebounds, and recorded three steals and two assists.
Payten Laird led the team with 10 rebounds and five steals. She also scored seven points.
On Monday, Jan. 25, the Blazers hosted and fell to Preble Shawnee, 54-37.
Laird once again led the way in scoring for the Blazers, putting in 17 points and grabbing six rebounds.
The Blazers allowed 27 offensive rebounds on the night as the Arrows out-rebounded the Blazers in the contest.
“When you allow teams that many extra possessions, it’s going to hurt you,” Ferguson stated after the game. “They shot 35 percent, and I thought our first shot defense was good, we just were unable to finish possessions with defensive rebounds.”
Miranda Mize returned from injury and scored five points in the contest.
Bri Dillow also scored five points and recorded three steals.
On Thursday, Jan. 28, the Blazers hosted Miami East for senior night and fell 46-20.
J. Byrd led the way with seven points and three rebounds.
The Blazers shot 21 percent from the floor for the game.
Ferguson said despite the 26-point loss he was happy his team is improving its defensive rebounding.
“I thought defensively we got much better tonight,” he said. “We limited them to 11 offensive rebounds, which after Monday night and against a team with their size, I thought was a tremendous improvement.”
Mize and Katie Stan played in their final home game for the Blazers. The two seniors were honored on senior night.
National Trail is now 5-16 overall and 3-8 in the Cross County Conference.
The Blazers travel to Tri-County North on Saturday, Feb. 6, to close out the season.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062, or on Twitter @aschmidt_RH.