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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


Phoenix Face Burnout From The Pride

On Jan. 18, the Phoenix girls basketball team went head-to-head against the Heritage Pride in a difficult game. The Phoenix kept up throughout most of the first quarter, but the Pride pulled ahead in the second quarter and maintained the lead throughout the rest of the game, ultimately winning 49-27.
Aarohi Motwani
Freshman Eryn Chemoiwa (14) dribbles down the court, speeding towards the basket.

The Phoenix girls basketball team hosted the Heritage Pride on Jan. 18. The Phoenix ended the game down 49-27, but still played strong throughout the contest, consistently being aggressive on both sides of the court. 

During the first quarter of the game, the Phoenix showed remarkable skill by scoring several baskets early on, creating a large gap between them and the Pride. However, with a few minutes left on the clock, it was obvious that the Pride were catching up.  The score was 9-7, with the Phoenix in the lead. However, with about two minutes left on the clock, the Pride had successfully caught up and tied with the Phoenix. By the end of the first quarter, the Phoenix were down 18-11. Freshman Simone Diby was the highest-scoring player for the Phoenix, scoring three baskets and one free throw, tying with the Pride’s highest-scoring player.

The second quarter, however, proved to be less successful for the Phoenix. By the end of the half, the Pride had scored 23 more points, leaving the Phoenix behind for a half-time score of 41-11. “The whole second quarter [was difficult], because some people couldn’t get the ball up the court or they let the defender take the ball from them,” senior Cora Bowen said.

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After halftime, the Phoenix started to gain traction once again, their momentum fueled by communication and cooperation. “We had a talk before the third quarter, and we all collectively agreed we had to try harder,” said Bowen. “All of us as a team put in more effort.”

With the new energy, Diby scored an easy basket and Bowen made a clean 3-pointer. With 56 seconds left on the clock, Bowen took advantage of a foul to score two more free throws. Despite their efforts, the Phoenix still remained behind by the start of fourth quarter, with the score being 47-18.

The fourth quarter saw a promising start with the Phoenix immediately scoring two points. They continued to score points consistently throughout the quarter and scored a total of nine points, compared to the Pride’s gain of two points.

Out of those nine, freshman Eryn Chemoiwa scored six free throws, making her the highest-scoring player of the last quarter. About four minutes into the quarter, Chemoiwa and Diby also worked together to score an easy bucket.

Nonetheless, as the final buzzer sounded, the Phoenix were still down 49-27. “I feel like we tried hard,” Diby said. “It was the first day back for people with injuries and stuff like that, but I think we played as hard as we could.”

After the game, Coach Gordon Neal reflected with the team on their performance on the court. “Coach sits us down and talks to us after the game, and we talk about what we need to work on for next time, and what we did well,” junior Soam Mansoor said.

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About the Contributors
Diya Chand, Staff Writer
Diya Chand is a senior this year, and a new staff writer to The Blaze. Her time in the Art and Lit Mag club here at Rock Ridge helped lead her to Newspaper. Now, she is looking forward to taking pictures, interviewing, and improving her graphic design. Diya also has interests in the medical field, hoping to join the Red Cross Club, potentially train to be an EMT, and maybe pursue veterinary science or dentistry. This year, Diya is looking forward to Capstone at the Loudoun County Animal Shelter. On any day, you can find her at Rock Ridge or at the Academies of Loudoun in the Academy of Science pathway. There, she’s a member of the STEM4Kids club. Outside of school, though, you can find her drawing, watching Netflix, or reading interesting research articles (one of which was about roundworms being able to detect cancer in dog pee).
Arnav Mahajan, Staff Writer
Arnav Mahajan is a freshman and it's his first year on the newspaper staff. He joined the newspaper because he has a strong passion for writing, which he uses to express himself. His main style of writing is argument and opinion-based pieces. He's looking forward to getting good work done and meeting the rest of the staff. When he’s not writing, he enjoys playing sports and video games, especially puzzle-based ones. He’s so excited to be part of the staff this year.
Aarohi Motwani, Editor In Chief
Aarohi Motwani is a senior and an Editor in Chief for The Blaze. This is her third year on staff, and she loves to take pictures and interview people in the student body. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music on her roof, and watching movies with her friends.
Sydney Nguyen, Design Editor
Sydney Nguyen is a senior and the Design Editor for The Blaze. While creating and designing spreads for the newspaper is one of Sydney’s favorite parts, they also enjoy writing articles. This year, Syd is most looking forward to AP Literature. In the coming year, Sydney plans to go to college and major in computer science while still continuing her hobbies of journalism and graphic design. Sydney especially enjoys the Art and Literature Club and being in the marching band at Rock Ridge as a top bass and saxophone player. Sydney’s favorite activities to do in their free time include drawing, rollerblading, scootering, and biking with their family.

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