Focus on Sports
Skipjacks earn rare win against Cecil men

Chesapeake tops Seahawks for first time in over a decade

Monday, January 14, 2013

WYE MILLS – These Skipjacks are entertaining even when they’re not winning. The nights featuring triple-digit scoring and men’s basketball victories are even more fun, particularly for the players and coaches.

That was definitely the case Friday night as Chesapeake College ran past visiting Cecil College, 106-94. The Skipjacks eclipsed the century mark for the sixth time this year and defeated the Seahawks for the first time in over a decade.

"At least we kept it (Cecil’s point total) under 105," remarked Chesapeake head coach Joel Dearring, whose squad dropped a 105-104 decision to Harford Community College and a 105-98 contest to conference-leading Baltimore City Community College in its two previous games.

Skipjacks Jimmie Jenkins (29 points, 10 assists, five rebounds) and Geran Pope (20 points, 25 rebounds) put up more eye-popping individual stats while Chad Church (22 points, 11 rebounds) also recorded a double-double. Jahmante Jackson (14 points) and Louis Simpson (10 points) gave Chesapeake five players scoring in double figures while Akanni Salako added seven points and seven rebounds.

Chesapeake seemed unlikely to hit triple digits after taking a 43-38 halftime lead, but the Skipjacks scored 63 second-half points – while allowing 56 to the Seahawks in a post-intermission track meet.

"If we can ever learn to stop people, we should be really good," said Dearring, whose team started a four-game home stand Friday night.

While the defense still needs some work, Dearring saw a lot that he liked beyond the triple digits and balanced scoring.

"We only had 11 turnovers and we went 24-for-31 from the line," said Dearring, noting both of those categories had been concerns in recent games. "We’re shooting a lot better from the line."

While Cecil (9-9, 4-4) isn’t the program it once was – the Seahawks won a national title to go along with a slew of state and region championships during that decade between losses to Chesapeake – Dearring said the win was still crucial for his program.

"We’re trying to find ourselves," said Dearring, who had Jenkins and Gamari Mayfield available for just the fifth game this season, and recently welcomed back Jackson to the active roster. "Jimmie is a special guy, but we had a couple of special guys in Salako and Pope while Jimmie was out and roles are having to be adjusted.

"I’ve always said it takes 10 games for a coach to get to know his team, but we’ve had to restart that 10-game clock with all of our roster changes," added Dearring.

Dearring had special praise for Church, who has put together some special games of late.

"Chad had an excellent game and he’s going to be an important player for us down the stretch," predicted Dearring.

Donte Adams led Cecil with a game-high 32 points while Charley Burley added 20 points for the Seahawks.

The Skipjacks host the St. Mary’s College junior varsity Monday, Montgomery College Wednesday, and the College of Southern Maryland Friday in 7 p.m. contests. The final two games are both conference contests while the CSM game also counts in the NJCAA Division II Region XX standings.

Chesapeake improved to 4-2 against Region XX opposition by beating Cecil.

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