St. Charles tops North Point again

Spar­tans boys’ strong fourth quar­ter the dif­fer­ence

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

Prior to this sea­son the St. Charles High School boys bas­ket­ball team had never up­ended North Point. But Fri­day evening the Spar­tans notched their sec­ond tally against the Ea­gles this win­ter cour­tesy of a strong fourth quar­ter en route to a 71-63 vic­tory in the South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con- fer­ence Po­tomac Di­vi­sion clash.

St. Charles (10-5, 4-3 SMAC Po­tomac) and North Point (8-9, 3-4) were vir­tu­ally in­sep­a­ra­ble through the first three quar­ters, with the two teams tied at 30 at half­time and the Spar­tans owned a 48-46 lead head­ing into the fourth quar­ter. When North Point’s Jalen Gibbs scored on a short jumper

just over a minute into the fi­nal frame to tie the score at 50, the two squads ap­peared des­tined for a nail-biter.

But over the next three min­utes, St. Charles em­barked on a 10-0 run to claim a 60-50 lead and the Ea­gles faced a se­ri­ous up­hill bat­tle there­after. Spar- tans se­niors Shiloh Beale Jr. and Sean Pat­ter­son each scored twice dur­ing that piv­otal run and re­serve Mer­wan Mour­taj added a pair of free throws. It was the only time dur­ing the con­test in which ei­ther team owned a dou­ble-digit lead.

“I think for us, again, it all started on the de­fen­sive end,” said St. Charles coach Brett Campbell, a for­mer North Point as­sis­tant coach whose team is sched­uled to face Leonard­town at 6:30 p.m. Wed­nes­day. “We have a de­signed de­fen­sive shell that we play. Any­time you play against a team coached by [North Point head coach] Jimmy Ball you have to come pre­pared. Like a lot of peo­ple, I owe a lot of what I know about the game to coach Ball.”

North Point had started the game quickly with se­nior Gibbs and sopho­mores Satchel Ball and Ma­lik Lawrence each con­nect­ing on a three-point field goal in the open­ing three min­utes for a 13-7 lead. But the Spar­tans lim­ited the Ea­gles to a sin­gle bas­ket over the last por­tion of the opener as Beale made his pres­ence known with three bas­kets in­side.

Beale promptly opened the sec­ond quar­ter with his lone three-pointer of the night and then added a pair of free throws to give the Spar­tans their first lead of the out­ing at 16-15 less than a minute into the sec­ond pe­riod. Gibbs coun­tered with an­other three-pointer and the Ea­gles owned a 22-17 lead be­fore the Spar­tans re­sponded with an 8-0 run for a brief 25-22 edge.

“I wasn’t fo­cused on how many points I scored or he scored,” Beale said of his early scor­ing bat­tle with Gibbs. Beale and Lawrence would even­tu­ally share the honor with 23 points each, while Gibbs had 17. “I just wanted to do what­ever I could to help us win. We beat them twice this year. We knew they were the team to beat in the county this year.”

North Point and St. Charles en­gaged in a see-saw af­fair dur­ing the third quar­ter as the teams ex­changed leads eight times and were tied on three other oc­ca­sions. Ball, who had 11 three-point­ers last week in a 95-67 win over Cross­land of Prince Ge­orge’s County, had one early in the quar­ter and St. Charles’ Der­rick Carter had one later that tied the game at 46.

The Spar­tans took a 48-46 lead at the buzzer to end the third when Mar­cus Hamil­ton scored off an in­bounds play. It was his lone bucket of the night. Ball hit a short jumper to start the fourth and Gibbs had a layup mo­ments later to tie the game again at 50. But the Spar­tans’ 10-0 run proved de­ci­sive and be­wil­dered the Ea­gles coach.

“We just didn’t do the lit­tle things in the fourth quar­ter,” said Ball, whose team is sched­uled to face Lackey at 6:30 p.m. Wed­nes­day. “We didn’t box out, we didn’t take away their base­line cuts and we didn’t pass the ball well. We have to fix the lit­tle things that we’re do­ing wrong. Give credit to St. Charles, though, be­cause they made the plays in the fourth quar­ter.”

PHOTO BY DARNELL MAR­BURY

St. Charles High School se­nior Shiloh Beale Jr. takes a three-point field goal at­tempt in the first half of Fri­day’s SMAC Po­tomac Di­vi­sion clash against North Point. Beale fin­ished the game with 23 points and the Spar­tans up­ended the Ea­gles 71-63 to sweep the sea­son series.

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