Athletics News

Men's Basketball

Skipjacks press their case against Rockville
Chesapeake uses zone press to overcome 17-point deficit

WYE MILLS – It’s an old basketball truism – pressing teams hate to be pressed themselves.

That point was proven one more time Friday night at Chesapeake College. Montgomery College Rockville, which built a 17-point lead by relentlessly pressing the Skipjacks, felt apart in the second half when Chesapeake went to a 1-2-1-1 zone press. The result: A 90-82 Chesapeake men’s basketball victory over a Rockville team that started the night with an 8-4 record.

"I needed something to get our juices flowing," said Chesapeake head coach Joel Dearring of the decision to use the press.

Mission accomplished. Chesapeake, pushing the Knights back on their heels with the press, scored 56 second-half points as the Skipjacks (5-8 overall, 3-5 Maryland JuCo) bounced back from Wednesday’s 85-83 loss to Montgomery College Germantown in which the Skipjacks blew an 18-point advantage.

Jimmie Jenkins led the second-half surge, scoring 21 of his game-high 32 points after intermission. Jenkins also had seven assists and six steals, many of them as a result of Chesapeake’s second-half pressure defense.

"Most teams that give pressure don’t like taking pressure," said Jenkins, who became the third Skipjack to score 30 points in a game this season. "It caught them off guard and they seemed to panic."

Chesapeake’s pressure seemed to affect every facet of the Knights’ game – even their free-throw shooting. Rockville, which made 6-of-8 first-half attempts, missed 16-of-30 second-half tries. In a decisive, nine-minute stretch of the second half, the Knights missed 13-of-20 foul shots, including six straight in one stretch.

"The thing about the press is, once you start making them work a team is going to get tired," said Dearring. "That affects a team’s shooting percentage – even their free-throw shooting percentage.

Dasheek Bannister, who scored 17 of his 21 points after halftime, and Patric Bridges-Jenkins (seven points, 11 rebounds) also had big games for the Skipjacks. Bridges-Jenkins was active under both baskets, getting half of his rebounds off the offensive glass, and altered numerous Rockville shots with his presence in the middle.

"Patric came to play," said Dearring.

Matthew Jackson (seven assists, seven rebounds) joined Jenkins and Bannister in double figures for the Skipjacks with 15 points.

"Matthew had a great all-around game for us," said Chesapeake assistant coach Allen Mitchell.

Rockville had five players in double figures – Frank Hodo (17 points), Ennis Whatley Jr. (16), Dante Serile (15), Erick Satchell (10), and Manny Ogunfolu (10) – but that depth couldn’t overcome the team’s second-half turnovers and foul shooting.

For a half, however, the Knights looked like world-beaters. They used a 16-0 run to blow out to a 42-25 lead, but Jenkins scored 11 first-half points as the Skipjacks pulled within 44-34 at the break.

Chesapeake took its first lead of the second half on a Bannister trey that broke a 57-57 tie with 12:21 to play. Bannister’s basket was part of a 10-0 run by the Skipjacks – started and finished by Jenkins baskets – that gave Chesapeake a 62-57 lead.

Rockville pulled within 62-59 on two Serile free throws, but Chesapeake answered with seven straight points. Bannister scored on a breakaway and Jenkins got the next five points, scoring on a back-door layup and hitting a three-point play that gave Chesapeake a double-digit lead (69-59) for the first time in the game.

"That’s a good win going into the (semester) break," said Jenkins. "We need to come back healthy and strong in January for the second half of the season."

Notes: The same two teams will meet again on January 15th in a 3 p.m. game at the Verizon Center. That game is a lead-in to the 7 p.m. NBA contest between the Washington Wizards and the Toronto Raptors. Information on purchasing tickets for the game may be found on Chesapeake’s website ( . . .

Rockville’s team has professional basketball bloodlines. Sophomore swingman Ennis Whatley Jr. is the son of Ennis Whatley, who played 10 years in the NBA, including a stint with the Washington Bullets. Whatley once handed out 24 assists in a game while playing with the Chicago Bulls.

D.J. Nicholson, one of the nation’s leading scorers at 30 points per game, is expected back when the team resumes play in January. Nicholson hasn’t played since the fifth game of the season when he broke his thumb. . . .

Photo caption: Jimmie Jenkins became the third Skipjack to score at least 30 points in a game this season, getting a game-high 32 Friday night in Chesapeake College’s 90-82, come-from-behind win over Montgomery College Rockville.

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