St. Charles tops North Point again
Spartans boys’ strong fourth quarter the difference
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.”
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.