Focus on Sports
'Jacks oust champs to reach region title game

Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2008

HAGERSTOWN – Sure, the Skipjacks seemed to be handed a huge break – but it was still up to them to take advantage of it.

Aubin Reeves hit a lean-in jumper with 5.3 seconds left to push Chesapeake College past Allegany College of Maryland, 80-78, Saturday and into the NJCAA Division I Region XX title game. Reeves´ game-winner and a scoring controversy that seemingly cost the Trojans two points in the game´s closing minutes both played key roles in securing the top-seeded Skipjacks a spot in the region finals for the second consecutive year.

Reeves wasn´t even the first option on the play head coach John Mappas set up during a timeout with 14.8 seconds remaining.

"The play was actually set up for Ty (Newman)," said Reeves, whose two free throws in the final seconds gave Chesapeake a 96-95 win over Allegany during the regular season. "Ty came off the screen and they were overplaying him, so I just had to try to create something. I just wanted to get it on the backboard so we could try to get a rebound."

Allegany, which called time out after the Reeves basket, had to bring the ball the length of the court. The Skipjacks applied token pressure, but it was enough to force Trojan swingman Ru White into a traveling violation with 1.6 seconds remaining to seal Chesapeake´s win.

Fifth-seeded Allegany (13-15) was the defending champion, having beaten Chesapeake (26-4) in last year´s title game. Chesapeake earned the right to meet third-seeded Garrett College (17-10), which used a 75-71 win over second-seeded Hagerstown Community College to reach Sunday´s title game. (The Skipjacks defeated Garrett, 96-74, in the championship contest.)

Reeves´ hoop concluded a game-ending, 6-0 run by the Skipjacks. Newman (16 points, five assists, five rebounds) hit a 3-pointer with 1:53 remaining to pull the Skipjacks within 78-77 and Andrew Lee (24 points, nine rebounds) hit the first of two free throws 21 seconds later to tie the game.

The apparent scoring error came with 7:13 remaining when George DeGroat (28 points, 22 rebounds) stepped to the line with Allegany holding a 67-64 lead. He hit both free throws, but the scoreboard stayed on 67-64. After the officiating crew conferenced and checked the official scorebook, the crew left the score at 67-64.

"I know we had two more points than we were given . . . by the official scorekeeper and that´s all I´m going to say about it," said Allegany head coach Mike Baker, while Mappas declined to comment on the officials´ decision.

Chesapeake then tied the game on a Preston Faulk 3-pointer and took a 69-67 lead on Barry Bratten´s layup off a Lee pass. After DeGroat scored off an offensive rebound to pull Allegany even, teammate Ryan Burts (15 points) canned a 3-pointer to put the Trojans back in front. Chesapeake then tied the game as Reeves drove for a layup that he turned into a three-pointer play.

A DeGroat tip-in once again put the Trojans in front, but Lee´s layup created a 74-74 tie with 3:10 remaining.

Allegany seemingly took control when Calvin Lee hit back-to-back jumpers to give the Trojans a 78-74 lead with two minutes remaining, but the Trojans wouldn´t score again.

Reeves finished with 13 points and Bratten had 11 as they joined Lee and Newman in double figures for Chesapeake. Mappas was pleased with the resolve showed by his team, which trailed most of the game, while singling out Lee for special praise.

"That may have been the best game Andrew played all year," said Mappas. "He got their whole team in foul trouble."

"Andrew Lee was a bear . . . We just couldn´t stop him," said Baker.

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