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Men's Basketball

Skipjacks sunk on controversial final shot in OT
Takoma Park’s Johnson hits game-winner at – or after – final buzzer

WYE MILLS – Gemayl Johnson’s three-pointer sank the Skipjacks Wednesday night – despite all visual evidence to the contrary.

Johnson’s shot from just inside the halfcourt line came just before – or, just after, depending upon your perspective – the final buzzer to give Montgomery College Takoma Park a 69-67 men’s basketball victory over Chesapeake College. Television replays – the game was being filmed for broadcast on Chesapeake’s cable TV station – seemed to support the Skipjacks’ contention that the shot came after the final buzzer.

"It was my opinion that the buzzer went off and the light (on the backboard that comes on when the buzzer sounds) came on before the ball left his hand," said Chesapeake College Athletic Director Frank Szymanski, who requested that the officials use the television replay to review the call.

National Collegiate Athletic Association rules – which also govern junior college basketball – allow replays to determine whether shots occur before time expires. Szymanski said the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Basketball Officials Association (MACBOA) representative at the game told him the officials declined to use the replay because the television monitor was not at the scorer’s table.

Chesapeake College head coach John Mappas also thought the shot did not beat the buzzer.

"The kid (Johnson) had the ball and the red light had gone off. It was right there on the (television) monitor," said Mappas.

"That’s hard to take, but we’ve got to move on," added Mappas. "We shouldn’t have let it come down to that call. If we had played better and I had coached better it wouldn’t have come down to that call."

Johnson’s shot came after the Skipjacks seemingly won the game on Kentrell Ricketts’ layup with two seconds left. Takoma Park immediately inbounded the ball and Johnson was able to square up for a long jumper that found its mark.

This was the third straight Chesapeake game in which the winning basket was scored in the final 40 seconds. The Skipjacks (8-7 overall, 4-3 Maryland JuCo) defeated Garrett College, 74-72, last Friday, and downed Hagerstown Community College, 78-75 in overtime, Monday.

Chesapeake overcame a 10-point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation, then appeared to clinch its fifth straight win on Ricketts’ overtime layup, which wiped out Takoma Park’s 66-65 lead.

Davon Heath scored a game-high 22 points to lead Chesapeake. Ricketts, Jimmy Mosser, and Hubert King scored 11 each for the Skipjacks.

Johnson scored a team-high 17 points for Takoma Park. Davon Speight added 15 points and Phillip Skeeter chipped in 10 for the Falcons (5-10, 3-5).

The Skipjacks travel to Community College Baltimore County-Essex Friday night for a 7 p.m. contest.

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