Gain­ing the up­per hand

North Point girls down Chop­ti­con; Braves boys down Ea­gles

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

Over the course of Wednes- day evening’s South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer- ence girls bas­ket­ball con­test, North Point High School used a pair of runs to gain a com­fort­able ad­van­tage over vis­it­ing Chop­ti­con en route to a 64-51 vic­tor y.

North Point (2-0 over­all), which opened the sea­son with a 61-20 vic­tory over Hunt­ing- town on Mon­day, closed out the first quar­ter on a 12-0 run to claim an early 19-7 lead and then used an­other 10-0 run in the third quar­ter to forge a com­mand­ing 51-34 lead head­ing into the fi­nal frame.

“We took a time­out early in the first quar­ter to talk about some things we needed to do,” North Point head coach Michael Ser­pone said. “I thought we were ca­pa­ble of do­ing some things of­fen­sively that could ex­ploit them on de­fense. Then that’s what the girls did, they ex­ploited a few things and we fin­ished the first quar­ter re­ally well.”

Necole Hope had given North Point an early lead with a pair of three-point field goals, but the Braves quickly drew even at 7 on a pair of short jumpers from Kyaira Priest. The last four min­utes of the open­ing quar­ter be­longed to the Ea­gles as Hope hit an­other three-pointer and Latavia Jack­son added a pair of buck­ets and Sy­nia John­son had an­other.

Chop­ti­con (1-1), which opened the sea­son with a 5012 vic­tory over Lackey on Mon­day, stayed within strik­ing dis­tance in the sec­ond quar­ter as fouls ac­cu­mu­lated rapidly for both teams. The

Ea­gles got 10 of their 15 points of the sec­ond quar­ter from the free-throw line as both teams spent much of the pe­riod in the dou­ble bonus. A three-pointer by Sarah Sweeney re­duced the Braves’ deficit to eight points and the vis­i­tors stayed with- in sin­gle dig­its at 34-26 at the break.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Chop­ti­con head coach Joe Cook said. “Right now we’re not play­ing good de­fense and we’re not run­ning our plays on of­fense. We still have too many girls try­ing to do too much and not play­ing within the sys­tem. Un­til we get that cor­rected, we’re go­ing to be in for some tough games.”

Chop­ti­con stayed within sin­gle dig­its through the first two min­utes of the third quar­ter, but an­other three-pointer from Hope ig­nited a piv­otal 10-0 run that lasted more than four min- utes and ex­tended the Ea­gles’ lead to 48-31 un­til Sweeney hit an­other three-pointer to end the drought. That was im­medi- ately matched by a three-point- er from North Point’s Rheyna Wash­ing­ton.

Chop­ti­con’s Aryanna Hutch­er­son, a re­cent trans­fer from St. Mary’s Ryken, opened the fourth quar­ter with a three-pointer and two free throws and Priest added a layup to bring the vis­i­tors within 51-41 with 6 min­utes 40 sec­onds re­main­ing. But the Braves’ promis­ing start to the fi­nal frame was im­me­di­ately coun­tered by a con­ven­tional three-point play by Hope and later buck­ets by Wash­ing­ton, Jack­son and a three-pointer from Nyah Ge­orge pushed the lead back to 63-45 with four min­utes re­main­ing.

“We did a not do a good job against their pres­sure de­fense,” Cook said. “We turned the ball over way too many times. We were sloppy. We’re def­i­nitely ca­pa­ble of play­ing much bet­ter than the way we played tonight.”

While Chop­ti­con will take the court again, a sched­uled 7 p.m. con­test at Caro­line (Va.). North Point will be idle un­til Wed­nes­day’s game at North­ern at 6:30 p.m. The Ea­gles will make up for lost time next week­end when they head to Nashville for the She Got Game Clas­sic and they will also host the Wal­dorf Hol­i­day Hoops Clas­sic over the Christ­mas break.

“We’re go­ing to find out how good we are next week,” Ser- pone said. “We play two tough teams in Ten­nessee and we will also hope to catch a [Univer­sity of Ten­nessee] Vol­un­teers game. That tour­na­ment we host here over the Christ­mas break will have Calvert, Mc- Donough, West­lake and Old Mill and two five-A schools from Vir­ginia.”

North Point boys lose to Chop­ti­con

In the boys game at Chopti- con on Wed­nes­day night, the host Braves re­bounded from a 66-41 loss Mon­day at Lackey to up­end North Point 71-66.

Chop­ti­con (1-1) won only three games all of last sea­son, but Wed­nes­day evening they emerged with a rare vic­tory over the Ea­gles (1-1), who opened the sea­son with a 73-66 vic­tory over Hunt­ing­town on Mon­day.

The Braves ral­lied from a 51-45 deficit head­ing into the fourth quar­ter by outscor­ing North Point 26-15 in the fi­nal frame, as the Braves with­stood a 33-point per­for­mance from Ea­gles se­nior Jalen Gibbs.

Chop­ti­con is off un­til Mon­day when they are sched­uled to be at Sev­erna Park in Anne Arun­del County at 6:30 p.m. The Ea­gles are set to be back in ac­tion at 7 tonight at home ver­sus Gwynn Park of Prince Ge­orge’s County.

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