Chesapeake exploits Knights’ shortcomings
Bonsu, Mayfield take control inside as deeper ’Jacks wear down guests
WYE MILLS The short-handed Knights lacked both depth and an inside presence and the Chesapeake College men’s basketball team made the most of its guest’s shortcomings.
The Skipjacks, regularly running in fresh troops and constantly getting the ball inside to big men Kevin Bonsu and Gamari Mayfield, wore down CCBC-Essex Wednesday night on the way to an 87-70 victory. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound Bonsu and the 6-4 Mayfield each had 16 points as the Skipjacks (10-8 overall, 5-6 league) improved to 7-1 at home.
"In a game like that, you want to go to your bench so you can hopefully tire them out," said Chesapeake head coach Joel Dearring of his strategy against Essex, which dressed only six for the game.
Essex gamely hung around, rallying from double-digit deficits on several occasions, and trailed only 53-50 with about 13 minutes remaining. That’s when Chesapeake’s depth took its toll, helping the Skipjacks go on a game-deciding, 19-3 run. Delfawn Worrells (14 points, 11 assists, five steals) and Chadwick Church (12 points) each had five points during the surge as six different Skipjacks scored.
Essex (9-11, 6-6) had won three straight entering the game, including impressive wins over the College of Southern Maryland and Globe Institute of Technology. The Knights, however, were missing their two inside players including 6-foot-6 standout Damian Martin as well as head coach Mike Francis, who was ill.
"We were basically playing with six guards, and we didn’t shoot the ball that well tonight," said Knights assistant coach William Bianconi, noting he was missing one player due to illness and another due to a death in the family.
Neither Bonsu nor Mayfield started, but they certainly made their presence felt as they scored 10 and 12 points, respectively, in the first half.
"We have a lot of weapons inside we can use," said Bonsu, whose nine rebounds included four off the offensive glass. "If we put our mind to it, we can do that (score inside consistently) every night."
The Skipjacks fell behind by 20 in the first half last Friday night as they suffered their first home loss in an 85-80 defeat by Baltimore City Community College. They started much more quickly against Essex, using a 15-0 run that included eight points from Bonsu to build a 15-3 cushion and take the lead for good.
"The other night we didn’t come out and play to our potential," said Bonsu, who characterized losing at home as "painful."
"He (Bonsu) is a special talent and he’s only going to get better," said Dearring.
Akanni Salako scored nine points while Rocky Harris (seven rebounds) and Quentin Duncan scored eight each, giving the Skipjacks seven players who scored at least eight points. Sam Sanders only had two points, but he had a team-high 11 rebounds and also dealt out five assists.
Sean Edwards scored a game-high 17 points for Essex. Maurice Byers added 16, John Holloway contributed 14, and Allen Mahomes III had 10.
The Skipjacks will try to go to 8-1 at home Friday night when they host Montgomery College Germantown in a 7 p.m. contest.
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