Gaining the upper hand
North Point girls down Chopticon; Braves boys down Eagles
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.