Skipjacks’ depth wears down SMC junior varsity
Church scores 26; Worrells has triple-double in team’s 12th win
WYE MILLS Offensive balance will usually beat individual brilliance. It certainly had the upper hand Monday night as Chesapeake College rallied for an 84-75 men’s basketball victory over St. Mary’s College’s junior varsity.
St. Mary’s Mike Fitzpatrick scored a game-high 38 points, including 25 in the first half, and DeVohn Gilmore added 28, but the rest of the Seahawks’ roster totaled just nine points. Chesapeake (12-8) had three double-digit scorers and eight players with five points or more as the Skipjacks erased a 39-32 halftime deficit.
"If anybody can score at any given moment, you don’t have to worry about one player scoring," said Chesapeake’s Chad Church, who scored 19 of his team-high 26 points in the second half while shutting down Fitzpatrick on the defensive end. "You could tell Number 32 (Fitzpatrick) got tired in the second half. It just works to our advantage when everybody can score."
Rocky Harris (five steals, four assists) finished 12 points and Delfawn Worrells posted a triple-double for the Skipjacks with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Sam Sanders (eight points), Quentin Duncan (seven points), Gamari Mayfield (six points, seven rebounds), Kevin Bonsu (six points), Akanni Salako (five points), and Phillip Harris (three points) all contributed offensively for the Skipjacks.
"It was just a great team effort. Nearly everybody played last night for us, and everybody contributed," said Chesapeake head coach Joel Dearring.
Chesapeake improved to 9-1 at home and won for the fourth time in six games, but the Skipjacks had their hands full. Fitzpatrick, a senior who averages four points per game for the Seahawks’ varsity team, hit five 3-pointers as St. Mary’s led by as many as eight points in the first half.
Chesapeake rallied in the second half behind Church, a switch to full-court pressure, and dramatically improved foul shooting. The Skipjacks, who hit just 8-of-16 first-half free throws, dropped in 10-of-12 after intermission
"In the second half we just picked up the defense and picked up the intensity," said Church, who also had seven rebounds. "We sort of took them lightly in the first half, but we knew at halftime they were a good basketball team and we had to step it up. We had to execute everything we go over in practice."
"We were kind of lackluster in the first half," conceded Dearring. "We picked up our intensity and put on some defensive pressure in the second half. It (the pressure) really helped us. They (the Seahawks) were light in numbers."
With 12 wins, the Skipjacks already have their most victories since their 2007-08 Region XX championship team. They will try to add to that total Wednesday night in an 8:15 p.m. game against Harford Community College (8-15, 5-8) at Old Aberdeen High School before returning home to face Prince George’s Community College (16-7, 9-5) in what has developed into a rivalry game.
Chesapeake head coach Joel Dearring and assistant coach Allen Mitchell were both long-time assistants under retired PGCC head coach John Wiley, and four current Skipjacks attended high school in Prince George’s County.
"There’s nothing like playing at the ’Peake. The fans really help," said Church, one of the four Skipjacks who attended a Prince George’s County high school. "It’s going to be like that on Saturday when we play PG. We expect our fans to be here Saturday."
"The fan support has been great, and it really helps a lot," said Dearring, whose team is 6-6 in Maryland JuCo. "We know PG is bringing a busload of fans and we hope to have our fan base well represented."
Saturday’s 7 p.m. men’s game will be preceded by a 5 p.m. women’s contest that has state-title implications. The Skipjacks (16-3, 9-2) are currently trailing Montgomery-Rockville (18-3, 9-0), Hagerstown (21-1, 9-1) and Allegany (13-5, 7-1) while PG (13-5, 8-3) has lost three of its last six league games after a 5-0 conference start.
Admission to Saturday’s doubleheader is $3 for an individual and $5 for a family.
If there is inaccurate information on this page,
please send correction or comments to: Becky Fauver