’Jacks look to put it all together in tourney
Chesapeake College seeded second in state behind Rockville
FREDERICK The Chesapeake College women’s basketball team has already set a school record for victories, has won its last seven games, and has earned the second seed in this week’s Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference tournament.
Head coach Damon Nichols simply wonders what else his team may accomplish if it ever puts together a complete 40-minute game.
"I still say even though we’ve had a great regular season, we haven’t played a complete game yet," said Nichols. "Our leading scorers seem to score in spurts. I know all eight of our plays can score 10 points a game that’s 80 points if we put it all together. If you can’t win scoring 80 points a game, the way we play defense, I don’t know what it’s going to take."
The Skipjacks (18-3) will continue their search for that perfect game starting with Thursday’s 3 p.m. contest against seventh-seeded Cecil College. The Seahawks (12-11) defeated Harford Community College, 71-59, in a first-round game Tuesday night to set up their quarterfinal meeting with Chesapeake.
Chesapeake defeated Cecil, 73-56, last month as Shantrel Oliver scored 28 points, Denver Clyde added 14 off the bench, and Ashleigh Jones contributed 10 points.
Nichols said the key against Cecil will be how well the Skipjacks play their trademark pressure defense.
"We need to play tough defense like we’ve been playing and box out on the boards," said Nichols. "We’ve got to live by our pressure defense."
Oliver, Clyde, Jones, point guard Deja Acree, and forwards Jen Carr and Rose Smith have all shown the ability to score in double figures. Meanwhile, most teams have trouble figuring out how to deal with the Skipjacks’ height Smith and Clyde, who are each 6-foot-1, hit the boards hard along with Carr (5-11) and Jones (5-9) and athleticism.
If the Skipjacks get past Cecil, they will likely face third-seeded Hagerstown Community College in Saturday’s 1 p.m. semifinal. The Hawks (22-3) defeated Chesapeake, 56-52, in December by scoring the game’s final 10 points.
"Our players are looking forward to the possibility of playing Hagerstown again," said Nichols. "That game left a really bitter taste in our mouths. If we can get that chance we’ll be up for that."
Potentially looming for the Skipjacks is a title-game showdown Sunday at 1p.m. with top-seeded Montgomery College Rockvillle (22-4) , which handed Chesapeake a 76-70 loss in the regular season on the way to an undefeated conference campaign.
"We fell behind by 20 in that game and got it down to six with an opportunity to get even closer," said Nichols. "We showed that if we play the way we played in the last 15 minutes it would have been a different game."
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