Focus on Sports
Hagerstown hands Skipjacks 4th straight loss

Chesapeake still has shot at home state tournament game

Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2011

WYE MILLS – Chesapeake College took a 98-81 loss to Hagerstown Community College Friday night in the Skipjacks’ final men’s basketball home game of the regular season, but the hosts hope to have one more opportunity to finish their home schedule on a high note.

Chesapeake (10-13 overall, 7-8 league) still has one more shot to possibly earn a home game in the first round of the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference championship tournament. The Skipjacks, who have lost four straight against the top four teams in the state standings, travel to CCBC-Essex (14-9, 9-5) Tuesday needing a win to remain in contention for a state tournament home game.

"I think it’s very important we earn that home game," said Joel Dearring, Chesapeake’s first-year head coach. "We had a good record at home this year (9-4). The guys are comfortable there, and the road hasn’t been very good to us this year."

Najee White, a 6-foot-7 forward, scored a game-high 23 points and 6-5 forward Devin Miller added 18 against the height-challenged Skipjacks to lead Hagerstown. Guard Alister Chisholm – at 6-4, bigger than the Skipjacks’ front-line players – scored 17 points and D’Quan Lynch contributed 11 for the Hawks.

Dearring said the way the game was officiated didn’t help the Skipjacks in their efforts to negate their height disadvantage.

"The officiating was not to my satisfaction," said Dearring, who picked up a rare technical foul in the loss. "It seemed like the officiating awarded their aggressiveness even when it was over-aggressiveness."

First-place Hagerstown (18-4, 12-2) is attempting to hold off Allegany (15-7, 12-3), Cecil (19-5, 12-3) and Frederick (19-3, 12-3) to win the regular-season title and the top seed in next week’s state tournament. Frederick and Cecil each scored 107 points against Chesapeake as part of the Skipjacks’ current four-game losing streak, which also included a 77-69 loss to Allegany.

Matthew Jackson scored a team-high 21 points for the Skipjacks, who also had double-figure efforts from Jimmie Jenkins (17), Ryan Waters (15) and Louis Simpson (14).

Prior to the current four-game losing streak, Chesapeake had won six of seven to briefly move over .500 at 10-9. Dearring remains optimistic the Skipjacks can quickly right their ship.

"We’re excited about the opportunities ahead of us despite the recent losses," said Dearring. "We’ve been competitive in nearly all of our games this year with an all-freshman lineup."

The top eight teams earn first-round home games in the 16-team state tournament. The final three rounds of the tournament will be hosted by Frederick Community College.

Chesapeake will follow up the state tournament with a berth in the NJCAA Region XX Division II tournament. The Skipjacks are currently 6-3 against regional opposition.

"Starting next week, everyone is 0-0 and we move into tournament, one-and-done situations," said Dearring. "I think we’ll be ready.


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