Focus on Sports
Skipjacks rally in OT to stun Baltimore, 75-74

Posted on Friday, February 06, 2009

BALTIMORE – Baltimore City Community College overcame a six-point deficit in the final minute of regulation, then reeled off the first eight points of overtime to complete a 14-0 run. Yet it wasn´t enough to give the Panthers a men´s basketball victory over visiting Chesapeake College Wednesday night.

Chesapeake scored the final nine points of overtime, capped by Darnell Malabet´s running, left-handed hook shot over two taller defenders with four seconds left, to pull out a 75-74 victory. Malabet´s miraculous shot gave the Skipjacks (8-15 overall, 4-10 league) their first Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference road win of the season.

Skipjacks head coach John Mappas, who has spent four decades as a high school and college coach, could not recall coaching in a game featuring such an improbable comeback.

"That´s got to be a first," said Mappas of the way his team blew the late lead in regulation and then rallied from an eight-point deficit in overtime. "That´s such an unbelievable momentum swing."

The win was critical for Chesapeake, which is jockeying with the College of Southern Maryland (9-13, 3-9) and Harford Community College (8-15, 3-10) for the bottom three seeds in the upcoming state tournament. No team wants to finish 16th and have to play undefeated Cecil College (23-0, 13-0) in the first round of the state tournament.

Chesapeake beat Harford earlier this season and hosts CSM Saturday night at 7 p.m. in what Mappas called "a must-win game." A win over CSM would give Chesapeake the tie-breaker against both Southern Maryland and Harford should the teams finish with identical league records.

The Skipjacks´ playoff position would have been seriously harmed had they lost to BCCC – which looked likely after the Panthers opened overtime with their 8-0 run. John Williams, who scored a team-high 18 points, had a basket and two free throws in overtime to help the Panthers (10-10, 6-6) build their 74-66 lead.

Chesapeake, however, got back in the game as Will Cray (nine points, team-high 14 rebounds) hit a 3-pointer and Carlton Brown (game-high 19 points) scored two fast-break layups to pull the Skipjacks within 74-73.

Kenneth Alford (15 points) had a chance to extend Baltimore´s lead, but missed two free throws with 15 seconds to play. The right-handed Malabet then beat his man, went inside against two Panther defenders, and hit a left-handed hook that Mappas said had to be the result of divine intervention.

"He must have gone to church on Sunday to hit that prayer," said Mappas with a laugh.

Kentrell Ricketts scored 13 points while Malabet (six rebounds) and Jamire Davis (10 rebounds) each scored 12 points for the Skipjacks. Ricky Teagle had eight points and 13 rebounds, and Cory Kirby had two points and two big defensive stops in overtime.

"Baltimore had been pounding the ball into Williams, but Kirby shut him down the last two possessions in overtime," said Mappas.

While the overtime comeback provided the drama, Mappas said the Skipjacks´ superior rebounding was the real key. Chesapeake finished with 51 rebounds, including 18 off the offensive glass.

"We had three straight games where we had 25 or less rebounds, and we knew we had to rebound better," said Mappas.

CCBC-Essex 73, Chesapeake 64

ESSEX – Malcolm White and David Ford scored 19 points each last Friday night as the Knights blew out to a 41-28 halftime lead on the way to the win.

William Cray (16 points, six rebounds), Jamire Davis (15 points), and Ricky Teagle (14 points, eight rebounds) reached double figures for the Skipjacks. Cory Kirby (four rebounds) and Carlton Brown each scored seven points for Chesapeake, and Kentrell Ricketts scored five points.


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