’Jacks rally for OT win at Catonsville
Chesapeake closes in on earning home-court playoff reward
CATONSVILLE Chesapeake College’s new-found ability to win on the road means the Skipjacks are likely to earn a home playoff game to open the state men’s basketball tournament.
Rocky Harris hit a 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining in regulation Wednesday night to cap the Skipjacks’ comeback from a 15-point, second-half deficit and Chesapeake College dominated the overtime period against the shocked Cardinals as Chesapeake defeated CCBC-Catonsville, 102-89, to clinch a winning season.
"That’s two straight (road wins) for us," said Chesapeake head coach Joel Dearring, whose team had dropped its four previous road games. "We’re hot at the right time."
Chesapeake (14-9 overall, 8-7 league) used the win to remain in seventh place in the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference standings with the top eight teams earning home games in next Tuesday’s first round of the state tournament. Even if the Skipjacks were to lose Friday’s 7 p.m. conference finale against visiting Frederick Community College (8-17, 4-11) it is unlikely they would drop below eighth place.
"To have a winning season is great, and for everything to fall into place for a home playoff game would be exciting," said Dearring.
Such a cheery outlook didn’t look likely after Catonsville (8-18, 6-9) expanded a 42-34 halftime lead into a 15-point cushion with 12 minutes remaining. The Skipjacks, however, rallied as Harris (game-high 31 points), Kevin Bonsu (17 points), and Chad Church (17 points, nine rebounds) combined to score 49 points after intermission.
"Rocky stepped up for us in the second half, hitting some tough shots and playing some great defense," said Dearring. "He led us when we needed him the most.
"Kevin Bonsu was a man among boys in the second half," added Dearring after Bonsu (10 rebounds) posted a double-double. "And Chad Church hit some big shots for us."
Harris’ 3-pointer created an 85-85 tie. After the Skipjacks survived a final shot by Catonsville, Chesapeake outscored the Cardinals, 17-4, in the overtime, with Church scoring nine in the extra period, including a clinching 3-pointer.
Quentin Duncan scored only five points for Chesapeake, but Dearring said Duncan’s defense on Melvin Barfield (team-high 26 points) was crucial.
"He had Barfield for eight minutes and in those eight minutes Barfield didn’t score," said Dearring. "We don’t win this game without Quentin Duncan’s defense."
Delfawn Worrells (team-high 11 rebounds) and Akanni Salako each scored eight points for the Skipjacks while Gamari Mayfield (nine rebounds) had seven points. William Gilmore joined Duncan with five points.
Four other Cardinals joined Barfield in double figures as Lawrence Weldon scored 16, Tyrone Smothers and Kevin Jackson added 14 each, and Mikail Hernandez chipped in 12.
Chesapeake has won five of its last six games.
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