’Jacks turn defensive, rally past Catonsville
Chesapeake College snaps six-game losing streak with 67-61 triumph
WYE MILLS The Skipjacks’ renewed emphasis on defense helped Chesapeake College defeat visiting Community College Baltimore County-Catonsville, 67-61, Friday night to stop their six-game men’s basketball losing streak.
Chesapeake, which gave up an average of 77.1 points per game in its pre-Christmas schedule, has allowed just 60.1 points per contest since the holiday break. Until Friday, the Skipjacks had only narrow losses to once-beaten Garrett College (47-46) and Prince George’s Community College (73-71) to show for its new commitment to defense, so Friday’s win was welcome.
"We’ve been playing a lot better defensively," said Chesapeake head coach John Mappas. "Other than the first half against PG (when the Skipjacks allowed 49 points), we’ve been playing pretty good team defense since coming back from the break."
Ricky Teagle led the Skipjacks with a team-high 17 points and eight rebounds, including 13 points in the second half as Chesapeake rallied from a five-point deficit in the final eight minutes. William Cray added 15 points while point guard Kentrell Ricketts finished with 10 points, eight assists and two steals.
Mappas said a change in defensive style has also helped the team to rebound more effectively.
"We’re playing more of a contain defense, closer to the rim, and that’s allowed us to make more people available to rebound," said Mappas. "The only problem with this kind of defense is that it makes you more susceptible to getting beat by the long shot like PG did against us."
Cray and Darnell Malabet, who scored all eight of his points in the first half, combined for 18 first-half points as the Skipjacks built a 35-30 lead. While Catonsville rallied to take a five-point, second-half lead, the Skipjacks erased that deficit with an 8-0 run started by a 3-pointer from Jamire Davis (seven points).
Ricketts and Cray each hit two free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
Carlton Brown added seven points and Isadore Melton scored three points to complete the scoring for Chesapeake.
Brandon Baylor scored a team-high 23 points for Catonsville (1-13, 0-5), including 13 in the second half, but Baylor was the only Cardinal to reach double figures.
The Skipjacks host Anne Arundel Community College (10-3, 4-1, pending results of game with Montgomery College/Rockville) Monday night at 7 p.m. Anne Arundel hung a 90-76 loss on the Skipjacks earlier this season.
"Anne Arundel is very athletic and they shoot the heck out of the ball," said Mappas. "We’ve got to get out on their shooters earlier and get back on defense."
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