Skipjacks’ ’D’ is key in win over WC’s JV
Chesapeake comes up with huge stops late in 69-66 victory
WYE MILLS The Skipjacks’ defensive evolution continued in Monday night’s 69-66 men’s basketball victory over Washington College’s visiting junior varsity.
Chesapeake College (7-2) held the Shoremen to a pair of 3-pointers over the final 2:51 the second one a meaningless trey by John Weston at the buzzer for the Skipjacks’ sixth win in their last seven games. The Skipjacks’ defense came up with five huge plays blocks by Aaron Murray and Delfawn Worrells, a charge drawn by Quenton Duncan, and two steals by Sam Sanders over the last five minutes as Chesapeake erased a five-point deficit.
"All we do in practice is work on defense," said Duncan, who scored 10 points for the Skipjacks. "We just had to dig down deep. We got some turnovers that set us up for some free throws and easy shots."
"All of our offense came off our defense," said Sanders, who hit 4-of-5 3-point tries and finished with a game-high 24 points. "If someone is hot, we’re just going to keep feeding him the ball. Tonight was my night."
Chesapeake held an opponent to 69 points for the second time in three games after giving up 63 points in a half to Garrett College in the Skipjacks’ only league loss this season.
"If we keep teams in the 60s, we’ve got a great chance to come away with the ’W’, " observed Sanders.
The Shoremen, who only dressed six for the game, produced a gritty effort. Weston and Sean Brooks each scored 16 points, with each scoring 13 in the second half as Washington College erased a 28-21 halftime deficit.
Kyle Pagan (13 points) and James Hetzel (10 points) also reached double figures for Washington College, while Jamal McClean (nine points) was nearly the fifth Shoreman in double digits.
"We took a timeout with about five minutes left and I told our guys, ’This is where you see the character of a team,’ " said Chesapeake head coach Joel Dearring. "Every team has games like this. Teams that are reaching for greatness pull out these games."
The Shoremen played their way back into the game in the second half on the strength of their 3-point shooting. Weston and McClean each hit go-ahead 3-pointers and Brooks later drained a trey that created a 50-50 tie. Brooks’ trey coming after Sanders hit four 3-pointers in a five-minute stretch to keep Chesapeake in the game started an 11-3 run by the Shoreman that gave the visitors a 58-53 cushion with 5:09 remaining.
Chesapeake responded with a 7-0 run, the last five points from Delfawn Worrells (six points). Pagan knocked down a tying jumper for the Shoremen, but Murray’s layup off a feed by William Gilmore (10 assists, six points) put the Skipjacks ahead to stay, 62-60, with 2:35 to play. The Shoremen then turned the ball over on consecutive possessions, the second time on a Sanders steal that he converted into a layup with 1:38 remaining.
Brooks’ long 3-pointer with 47.9 seconds remaining pulled Washington College within 64-63, but Duncan then hit a layup off a press-breaker and Murray (five points) split a pair of free throws for a 67-63 cushion. Sanders and Gilmore teamed for another steal off a trap, leading to a pair of Gilmore free throws with 3.3 seconds remaining that iced the win.
Notes: Gamari Mayfield (four points), Murray and Sanders each had seven rebounds to lead the Skipjacks. . . .
Chesapeake is off until next Wednesday when the Skipjacks play at Hagerstown (9-1, 4-0). The Hawks and Cecil (6-3, 4-0) are currently tied for first place in the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference.
"We’re not shying off of thinking we have a shot at Hagerstown," said Dearring.
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