Focus on Sports
BCCC hands Skipjack women first league defeat

Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008

WYE MILLS – Is Chesapeake College-BCCC a budding women´s basketball rivalry? Panthers head coach Renard Smith hopes so.

"I´d like this to be a classic rivalry in the making," said Smith after Baltimore City Community College used a 61-54 victory Friday night to hand the Skipjacks their first league loss. "Pound-for-pound it´s a very even rivalry."

The teams certainly looked similar Friday night, with both schools fielding six-player squads. BCCC built a 52-36 lead, was down to four players at the end, and hung on for dear life after the Skipjacks gamely fought their way back into the contest.

"The effort was definitely there," said Chesapeake head coach Lowell Shaw, whose team defeated Baltimore City in its season-opener. "It just wasn´t the result we were seeking. The fact that we hadn´t played in over a month showed tonight."

Baltimore broke out to an early lead on the strength of its fast break. Kacee Lewis scored three straight Panther hoops in transition and Traira Means´ basket off a fast break allowed Baltimore to match its biggest lead of the first half at 23-16.

The Skipjacks (9-2 overall, 4-1 league) got back in the game when they put their own transition attack into high gear. Tiara Whye (four points, 10 rebounds) and Charlene Lewis (10 points) each scored fast-break baskets as Chesapeake scored the final six points of the first half to pull within 28-27.

Jady Bell (nine points) hit a jumper to start the second half and give Chesapeake a 29-28 lead. The Panthers, however, answered with eight straight points – six from Briana Glover – to take the lead for good. Glover (game-high 23 points) and Kacee Lewis (seven points) each had transition hoops in another 8-0 run that gave Baltimore its largest lead at 52-36.

"Our guards (Glover and Lewis) play summer-league ball together," said Smith. "They feed off of each other."

Chesapeake then began chipping away at the BCCC advantage, led by the inside work of Kiki Pettiford (18 points, 12 rebounds).

The Skipjacks trimmed their deficit back into single digits after BCCC´s Janette Jones (11 points) fouled out with just over five minutes remaining. Chesapeake stilled trailed by nine points when Lakia Barnes fouled out with 1:25 left, giving the Skipjacks a 5-on-4 advantage, and they used that edge to force three quick Baltimore turnovers and pull within 59-54 before time ran out.

Kyra Ringgold (11 points, seven rebounds) joined Pettiford and Lewis in double figures for the Skipjacks. Sharnita Alston (12 points) was the third Panther to hit double digits.

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