Winter Blazer Bash Recap

Jo Ito and Theo Coxe
On Friday, January 13, the Bush community celebrated winter athletes and coaches. The afternoon began with the entire student body gathering in Schuchart Gym for a pep rally, then led into a celebration with games, food, and music, topped off with exciting basketball games.
During the afternoon’s pep rally, the gym was full of blue and white Blazers gear, cheering, and school spirit. All Middle School and Upper School teams ran through a tunnel formed by the Fifth Grade basketball players, then performed team cheers while Blazer fans went wild in the stands. The fans cheered as the varsity girls and boys basketball teams dribbled their way through a tunnel of enthusiastic students ending with powerful lay-ups. Our faculty cheer squad kept the crowd going with a call and response cheer of “B-U-S-H”, making sure signature Bush humor was in the mix with retro Blazer uniforms, blue wigs, sparkly blue eyebrows, and face paint. The pep rally wrapped up with a free-throw shootout between the players and faculty members from each division.
After a tough afternoon of classes and the pep rally, Blazers were ready for free hotdogs, popcorn, and snacks after school. Many thanks go to the Blazer Bash planning committee, headed by Booster Club leader Angie Christensen, for providing the snacks.
With the bleachers packed for the junior varsity boys, varsity boys and varsity girls games against Bear Creek, Bush gear sales swelled, raffle prizes were drawn and the crowd enjoyed blazing performances by the Bush Pep Band and DJ Terminal (aka Ivan ’19). In addition, the fans were entertained by a faculty shooting contest with Middle School Director Jay Franklin taking the prize. Thanks to Percy, Gayle, Tami and Jay for participating and showing off their excellent free throw skills.
The festivities continued into the evening when the Blazer Varsity Boys pulled off a huge upset against the Bear Creek Grizzlies.
On a splendid Friday the 13th, the Blazer basketball boys capped off the Winter Bash by upsetting the first place Bear Creek Grizzlies 49 - 42 before a raucous packed house in the Schuchart Gym, avenging a 70 - 33 beat down administered by the Griz in December.
Riding the wave of 10 first quarter points from Doug (’17) and a swarming defense, Bush pulled out to a 17 - 5 lead after one quarter. The second stanza saw better play from Bear Creek and they drew within 9 at half time, 25 - 16. Excellent contributions from substitutes Bernard (’20), Ryan (’17) and Matt (’17) enabled the Blazers to keep their lead.
After the break, BCS came out firing and took their first lead at 28 - 27. A key 3 pointer from Graham (’17) helped stem the tide but by the period’s end the Grizzlies clung to the lead, 33 – 32.
Under withering pressure, Bush handled an aggressive half-court trap with Kai (’19) and Eli (’17) as the primary ball handlers. Tenacious defense from Graham (’17) totally disrupted the Bear Creek offense and with Bush clinging to a one-point lead, Elliot (’17) produced a huge block on a seemingly wide open layup. At the other end, Kai absorbed a hard foul going to the hoop and stretched the lead with two free throws. Bear Creek battled back and stayed close, but on this night, the Blazers (Doug in particular) had all the answers. Breaking the press, Eli found Doug at the top of the key for an open look. His shot tickled the twine for a 45 - 39 lead with less than thirty seconds to play. Bear Creek, refusing to go easily, countered with a three ball of their own with four seconds left, but an intentional foul on the ensuing inbounds pass led to a pair of free throws for Kai and a breakaway layup for Eli as time expired.
The Bush attack was led by Doug with twenty points and all eight Blazers who played and put points on the boards.
The Blazer's intensity kept Bear Creek was on their heels all night. The combination of  the floor game played by Eli, inside presence of Elliot on the boards, the ball handling by Kai, and ferocious defense kept Bear Creek on their heels all night.
In the other games on Friday, the Girls' varsity came from behind to forge a tie late in the game but a three-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark and the Blazers fell to Bear Creek by a 20 - 17 margin.
In the Junior Varsity Boys also turned up the heat on Winter Bash playing a great game and bringing home a win for the Blazers. The team broke open a close game with a 17 - 8 advantage in the third quarter and coasted to a 45 - 36 victory. 

By Jo Ito and Theo Coxe