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Men's Basketball

Chesapeake ousted from state tournament
Injury-riddled Skipjacks won’t mount regional title defense with 10-17 record

HAGERSTOWN – Chesapeake College’s 2008 postseason included seven games spread over three tournaments, including a Region XX men’s basketball championship and an appearance in the state finals.

This year’s postseason lasted 40 minutes.

Third-seeded Hagerstown Community College defeated the 14th-seeded Skipjacks, 95-81, Tuesday afternoon in the first round of the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference state tournament. The Skipjacks – 0-8 against NJCAA Division I Region XX rivals this season and 10-17 overall – then opted against defending their title in next week’s region tournament.

"The season was very disappointing," said Chesapeake head coach John Mappas. "Our guard play was very poor and injuries hurt us. This was the worst season for injuries in all the years I’ve coached at the college level."

Injuries began early, when the Skipjacks lost star guard Antoine White in the season opener, and continued to the end as premier forward William Cray was lost just after the Skipjacks put together a three-game winning streak that seemed to give them momentum for the playoffs. Chesapeake lost its final two games without Cray’s inside presence each by double digits.

For all of that, the Skipjacks stayed close to host Hagerstown for much of Tuesday’s playoff. The Hawks had a 47-41 halftime lead, which Chesapeake cut to 67-63 with about 12 minutes remaining.

"That was the pivotal time of the game," said Mappas. "Down four, we had five straight possessions where we didn’t score. Then they went on a run and stretched the lead out to 20 points."

Mappas said guard play was the key to the game, with the Hawks’ guards outscoring Chesapeake’s backcourt, 71-24. Guards Amaurys Fermin (22 points), Raylin Brown (18), Jordan Brooks (15), and Jeremy Myers (10) all reached double figures for the Hawks.

Forward Raason Young added 16 points for Hagerstown. The Hawks (20-7) will play 11th-seeded Garrett College, a 66-64 winner over No. 6 Montgomery College/Rockville, in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Isadore Melton led the Skipjacks with 20 points. Darnell Malabet (15 points), Carlton Brown (11), and Ricky Teagle (10) also reached double figures for Chesapeake.

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