’Jacks snap road skid, win fourth straight overall
Chesapeake welcomes PG for critical Saturday night contest
ABERDEEN A successful team has to be able to win on the road. Chesapeake College took a step in the right direction Wednesday night with a 74-69 men’s basketball victory over host Harford Community College.
Rocky Harris and Delfawn Worrells each scored 17 points to pace the Skipjacks, who won their fourth straight and snapped a four-game road losing streak. Chesapeake (13-8 overall, 7-6 Maryland JuCo) improved its road record to 4-7 to go along with a 9-1 home mark.
"I keep telling the guys being able to control your own destiny is priceless," said Chesapeake head coach Joel Dearring, whose team used a 21-12 run out of halftime to open up a 54-37 cushion. "If we keep winning, we control our own destiny. One of our goals is to host a playoff game at the ’Peake and win it and go to the state quarterfinals."
Having notched an important road win, the Skipjacks return home to face Prince George’s Community College Saturday night at 7 p.m. in another game with huge state tournament implications. Both Chesapeake and PG (16-8, 9-6) are part of a nine-team logjam with only two games in the loss column separating fifth-place PG and 13th-place Harford (8-16, 5-8) and only the top eight teams have home-court advantage in the first round of the state tournament.
Saturday’s game also involves some bragging rights, with Dearring and assistant coach Allen Mitchell having been longtime assistant coaches at PGCC and four Chesapeake players having attended Prince George’s County high schools.
"We had a great crowd at Prince George’s last year. We had almost as many fans at PG as they did last year," said Dearring. "It’s going to be an exciting night for everybody. I hope we do what we need to do to keep the winning streak alive." Harris had 15 of his 17 points in the first half against Harford as the Skipjacks overcame an early, 8-2 deficit to build a 33-25 lead. Worrells took over after the break, scoring 15 of his 17 in the second half.
Sam Sanders and Kevin Bonsu each scored 11 points and Chad Church chipped in eight for Chesapeake, which won its third straight Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference contest. Church also had a game-high 21 rebounds, including eight offensive boards, leading Dearring to note, "Chad was really strong against Harford."
The Fighting Owls cut their 17-point deficit to eight with less than four minutes remaining as Dwayne McGill (15 points) and Dimitrious Jelen-Joy (13 points) each scored a dozen points after intermission.
Harford, however, saw its comeback drown in a sea of turnovers. Both Harford and Chesapeake finished with 30 turnovers, but Chesapeake converted Harford’s turnovers into 24 points compared to just 13 Fighting Owl points off turnovers.
"We needed that win, but we have to concentrate more," said Dearring. "Two teams combining for 60 turnovers we can’t play like that and expect to win in any kind of playoff situation.
"We kind of sleep-walked through the first half again," continued Dearring, whose team has had more than its share of slow starts this season. "We have to start getting playoff ready. February is a very important month it will either lead you into March Madness or send you home."
Carlos Brown had a double-double for Harford with 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Tyler Campbell chipped in 14 points.
Notes: Saturday’s 7 p.m. men’s game will be preceded by an equally critical women’s contest between Chesapeake (16-3, 10-2) and Prince George’s (14-5, 9-3) at 5 p.m. The Skipjacks and Owls are two of five teams the others being Allegany (14-5, 7-1), Hagerstown (21-2, 9-2), and Frederick (15-7, 7-3) fighting for playoff seeding behind unbeaten league leader Montgomery/Rockville (19-3, 10-0).
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