Undermanned Skipjacks keep competing
Gonzalez hoop in waning seconds lift Owls past Chesapeake, 85-83
LARGO Chesapeake College may still be missing two starters, including its leading scorer, but that’s not keeping the Skipjacks from competing with some of the top men’s basketball teams in the state.
Prince George’s Community College (6-2 overall, 4-1 Maryland JuCo) needed a Mike Gonzales layup in the closing seconds to beat the visiting Skipjacks, 85-83, Friday night. That loss came two days after Baltimore City Community College (7-1, 3-0) needed overtime to hold off the Skipjacks, 94-86.
Both PG and Baltimore City are undefeated at home, while BCCC has won seven straight games.
"You can tell when you become a viable team when they (the opposition) start jumping up and down and acting like they won a championship when they beat you," said Joel Dearring, Chesapeake’s first-year head coach, who spent two decades at PG as the assistant men’s basketball coach. "That’s what happened at PG and two nights earlier at Baltimore City."
Five Skipjacks scored in double figures against PG, led by Jimmie Jenkins’ 20 points. Dasheek Bannister added 19, Matt Jackson scored 16, and Ryan Waters and Patric Bridges chipped in 10 points apiece. Azel Prather and Myles Petretti scored 20 each for the Owls, who also received 16 points from Antoine Brown and 11 from Stephen Griffin.
It wasn’t like the Skipjacks didn’t have their chances to beat the Owls and give Dearring a huge win against his former team. Jenkins missed a short jumper with the game tied at 83, setting the stage for the go-ahead basket by Gonzales. Jackson then missed a jumper in the closing seconds that could have tied the game for the Skipjacks (3-7, 2-4).
"I was proud of my guys," said Dearring. "They represented the college with all kinds of class. We had opportunities to win the game we just didn’t get it done."
Micah Fraction scored a game-high 24 points as Baltimore City edged the Skipjacks in Wednesday’s overtime contest. Kenny Bay-Brown added 18 points 17 of them after halftime and Brandon Belt had 15 for the Panthers.
Bannister and Waters each scored 22 points for the Skipjacks, with Waters getting 18 points after halftime, and Jenkins scored all 11 of his points after the break. Jackson was the fourth Skipjack in double figures with 10 points.
The latest two near misses came in the Skipjacks’ fourth and fifth consecutive games without D.J. Nicholson, who was scoring 30 points per game when he broke his thumb. Nicholson will be out until January.
"We’re like the Miracles waiting for Smokey Robinson to return," said Dearring, reaching back to a 1960s musical group for a satisfactory comparison. "When our Smokey (Nicholson) comes back, we’re going to have a whole lot of hits."
Notes: The Skipjacks host the Washington College junior varsity Monday night at 8 p.m., play Wednesday at Montgomery College/Germantown, and host Montgomery College/Rockville Friday night at 7 p.m.
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