Focus on Sports
'Jack sophomores make final home game memorable

Monday, February 19, 2007

WYE MILLS – Chesapeake College sophomores Jimmy Mosser and Hubert King made sure their final home game would be memorable.

Mosser scored a career-high 37 points and King hit the winning basket with 0.3 seconds remaining Saturday as the Skipjacks stunned Montgomery College Rockville, 88-86, for Chesapeake´s second impressive win in less than 24 hours. Fresh from a blowout victory over Potomac State College, the Skipjacks and Rockville staged a classic that featured 19 lead changes – including six in the final three minutes.

"The last two days have been great," said Chesapeake head coach John Mappas, who avoided his first losing regular season in nine years as a junior-college head coach. "We´re playing well again and the kids are playing hard."

Fittingly, the game featured a frenzied finish.

Rockville´s Ronald Ringgold hit an in-the-lane jumper with 34 seconds remaining to create an 86-86 tie. Facing a Knights press that had caused considerable second-half havoc, King threw a baseball pass to a wide-open Davon Heath.

While the pass was off-line, Heath was able to run the ball down and get off a layup attempt that came off the rim and went out of bounds off Rockville with 28 seconds remaining.

With the shot clock off, the Skipjacks went to their spread offense. King – finding himself in the middle of the court with the ball and the clock winding down – decided to take the final shot, managing to get inside for a short jumper that finally finished off the Knights.

"They were overplaying me, so I decided to keep the ball in my hands and try to win it for my team," said King.

"When Hubert got the ball, I never doubted for one second that we were going to win," said Mosser. "They´d either foul him or he´d hit the bucket."

The win allowed the Skipjacks (13-13 overall, 8-9 Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference) to enter this week´s state tournament with added confidence and an improved seeding. Chesapeake, the 10th seed, will travel to seventh-seeded Prince George´s Community College Tuesday for a 6 p.m. first-round game. The Owls defeated Chesapeake, 88-76, in a regular-season contest.

Mosser, who was the catalyst for Chesapeake´s rout of Potomac State, wasted no time establishing his game against Rockville. The streak-shooting guard knocked down five three-pointers in the first 11 minutes, finishing the first half with 17 points as the Skipjacks took a 38-33 lead into intermission.

"Fourteen (Mosser) was just incredible," said Rockville coach Steve Hobson. "He was the triggerman for them."

Hobson said the Knights came out in the second half trying to focus on stopping Mosser, and it worked for the first five minutes. Mosser then went back to work, scoring 20 points in the final 15 minutes.

"The second half, when they were cutting off his shots, Jimmy wasn´t forcing it," said Mappas. "When he got his opportunities, he took them."

While Mosser and King played big roles in the win, they didn´t win it by themselves. Heath (two charges drawn) and Kentrell Ricketts scored 10 points each while Terrance Wright added seven points and some big defensive plays. Brooks Cottman (nine points, team-high eight rebounds) and Felix Weeks (four points, four rebounds) play important roles inside.

"It´s playoff time," noted Cottman. "Coach said we need to rebound in order to be a better team, and he´s right. Felix and I are trying to step it up."

Rockville (16-10, 8-9) stayed in the game thanks to the scoring of Armond Hill (team-high 30 points), Ringgold and Herbie Spellman (16 points). That trio and the Knights´ highly effective press were nearly enough as Rockville used consecutive steals in the backcourt to score five points in 23 seconds and take a 77-76 lead on Andrew Murphy´s layup with 2:51 remaining.

King broke the Knights´ press on the next possession, feeding Heath for a layup that put Chesapeake back in front. Hill´s layup put Rockville ahead, but King sank a pair of free throws with 1:40 remaining to give Chesapeake an 80-79 lead.

An exchange of free throws – two by Rockville´s Hill and two by Mosser – was followed by Hill splitting a pair of free throws to create an 82-82 tie with 1:21 remaining. Heath´s layup with 1:02 remaining briefly put the Skipjacks back in front, but Murphy´s two free throws created an 84-84 deadlock with 52.3 seconds left.

Ricketts then broke the Rockville press, driving the length of the court before feeding Wright for a layup that gave Chesapeake an 86-84 advantage with 44 seconds remaining. Ringgold´s jumper then set in motion the dramatic ending.

Chesapeake College 99, Potomac State College 71

WYE MILLS – Called out by their coach, the Skipjacks responded.

"Coach (John Mappas) made it clear – we needed to win if we want to go to regionals," said Chesapeake College forward Hubert King Friday night after the Skipjacks set a season high for points in a 99-71 men´s basketball victory over visiting Potomac State College of West Virginia University.

Jimmy Mosser scored a game-high 24 points, Kentrell Ricketts added 21, and King chipped in 19 as Chesapeake produced one of its most complete performances of the season. The Skipjacks shook off their recent foul-line woes by making 28-of-35 free throws and also played well defensively, limiting the Catamounts to 32 first-half points while taking control of the contest.

The win allowed Chesapeake to finish with a 3-1 record against NJCAA Region XX Division I opponents. That clinches the second seed in next month´s tournament behind top-ranked Allegany College of Maryland, ensuring the Skipjacks and Trojans can´t meet until the region title game.

"We needed a win to show me this team should go to the regional tournament," said Mappas, who said the Skipjacks will accept a regional tournament bid.

Chesapeake made the most of its homecourt advantage Friday night, racing out to a quick lead against a Catamount squad that endured a three-and-a-half-hour bus ride. The Skipjacks blew out to a 22-5 advantage as Mosser hit four three-pointers in the first seven minutes and 20 seconds.

"I just came out shooting," said Mosser. "We had to get this win. This was definitely our best game in a while."

"That was exactly what we needed to do," said Mappas of his team´s fast start. "They (the Catamounts) were lethargic after the long trip. We needed a cushion because we knew they´d make a run at us."

Davon Heath was the fourth Skipjack in double figures with 10 points. Cottman and Burton Moody had six points each and Terrance Wright added four for Chesapeake as nine of the 11 Skipjacks scored.

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