Se­niors suit up for one fi­nal time

Po­tomac boys hold on, Ch­e­sa­peake girls roll in SMAC all-star bas­ket­ball games

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Twit­ter: @aj­ma­son301

By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

Af­ter ac­cept­ing his Most Out­stand­ing Player award fol­low­ing Fri­day night’s an­nual South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence se­nior all-star boys bas­ket­ball game at North Point High School in Wal­dorf, Lackey’s Ha­keem Everett posed for pic­tures with fam­ily mem­bers, team­mates and coaches.

It was dur­ing these postgame pleas­antries that the re­al­iza­tion hit him. His high school bas­ket­ball ca­reer was of­fi­cially com­ing to an end.

Everett wasn’t alone. Nu­mer­ous play­ers were scat­tered around the floor tak­ing pic­tures and spend­ing time with team­mates and friends. Some lin­gered longer than oth­ers, not want­ing to take off the jersey they had worn through­out their time at their re­spec­tive high schools.

“I have a lot of great mem­o­ries,” Everett said. “It was a lot of fun to come out and play with guys that you bat­tle against dur­ing the sea­son and tonight I def­i­nitely came to win. If all of us were on the same team, we prob­a­bly would win a state cham­pi­onship.”

The boys game was the sec­ond game of a dou­ble­header, which saw the Po­tomac Divi­sion edge the Ch­e­sa­peake Divi­sion 82-78, while the Ch­e­sa­peake girls rolled to a 75-48 win. Calvert and St. Mary’s county teams made up the Ch­e­sa­peake Divi­sion, while Charles County squads made up the Po­tomac.

“It was very spe­cial and a true honor to coach these se­niors from dif­fer­ent schools in Charles County,” said Po­tomac coach Dar­nell Kem­per, an as­sis­tant West­lake boys bas­ket­ball coach.

The SMAC all-star af­fair rec­og­nized the top se­nior boys and girls bas­ket­ball play­ers and to give col­lege re­cruiters an­other chance to scout un­com­mit­ted tal­ent. But most of all, it was de­signed to give a few select se­niors one last hur­rah be­fore tak­ing the next step in their young lives.

“It is spe­cial to coach in the SMAC all-star game,” said Ch­e­sa­peake coach Josh Pratt, who is Hunt­ing­town’s head boys bas­ket­ball coach. “There were some col­lege coaches in the stands and I tell the kids you never know who is watch­ing. Just shows you the ath­leti­cism we have in SMAC.”

In the boys game, Ch­e­sa­peake trailed 79-74 with 1 minute 12 sec­onds left in reg­u­la­tion, but back-to­back thun­der­ous dunks by 6-foot-4 for­ward Von­nie Watkins (Patux­ent) cut the deficit to 79-78 with 48 sec­onds re­main­ing.

“I’m go­ing to miss high school bas­ket­ball,” said

Watkins, who is bound for Divi­sion I’s Ohio Univer­sity for football. “I wanted to get some dunks in and I told my team­mates my I would do that for them. To have them late in the game to bring us back made it even bet­ter.”

Af­ter guard Jalen Gibbs (North Point) missed the front end of a one-and-one for Po­tomac, Ch­e­sa­peake had a chance to take the lead in the fi­nal sec­onds, but Davaughn Reid (Hunt­ing­town) had the ball stolen from Everett, who was fouled with 3.7 sec­onds left.

Everett made the first free throw to push the lead to 80-78, but missed the sec­ond at­tempt and Amir Lawrence (West­lake) grabbed the re­bound for Po­tomac and scored on a put­back as time ex­pired.

Everett led all scor­ers with 21 points, while Gibbs added 17. Both com­bined for five of the team’s seven threes in the game. Lawrence fin­ished with 12.

“When I saw [Reid] com­ing off the screen on the drib­ble I just gam­bled and it worked,” Everett said. “I went a quick reach and got the steal.”

Ch­e­sa­peake led 14-9 af­ter one quar­ter, but Po­tomac took a 40-28 lead at the half and was up 61-51 af­ter three. Ch­e­sa­peake came to within two points three times in the fourth and one point late in reg­u­la­tion, but fell short.

“North Point is a place I will al­ways re­mem­ber play­ing at and it will be truly missed,” Gibbs said.

Ch­e­sa­peake had four play­ers in dou­ble fig­ures as David Oliv­eras (Great Mills) fin­ished with 15 points, Watkins scored 14, Jack Lan­ham (Calvert) had 13 and Nevyn Har­ris (Great Mills) added 10.

“To play with and against the best se­niors in SMAC was great and it was a way to show fam­ily and friends what we can do,” Oliv­eras said.

In the girls con­test, Ananda Claggett (North­ern) was named the Most Out­stand­ing Player in Ch­e­sa­peake’s vic­tory with a game-high 18 points. The Chop­ti­con duo of Aryanna Hutch­er­son and Kyaira Pri­est fin­ished with 17 and 15 points, re­spec­tively.

“It was fun and we just played hard and forced some turnovers,” said Claggett, who will be head­ing to Mary­mount Univer­sity (Va.) to play bas­ket­ball. “I’ve im­proved the last four years and I’m ready for col­lege now.”

Po­tomac led 19-11 lead af­ter the first quar­ter, but Ch­e­sa­peake had a 64-29 scor­ing ad­van­tage in the fi­nal three.

Lead­ing Po­tomac in the scor­ing col­umn was Aliyah Bul­lock (North Point) and Oc­tavia Hawkins (Thomas Stone) with 15 points each.

“It was great to have the op­por­tu­nity to see the girls in SMAC play one last time be­fore they go off the col­lege,” said Ch­e­sa­peake coach Tim Con­tee, who is Calvert’s head girls bas­ket­ball coach. “It was fun to coach them and sit back and watch the tal­ent.”

PHOTO BY ROB WORMAN

Po­tomac’s Ha­keem Everett (Lackey) dunks home two of his game­high 21 as Ch­e­sa­peake’s Von­nie Watkins (Patux­ent) looks on in Fri­day night’s SMAC se­nior boys bas­ket­ball all-star game at North Point High School in Wal­dorf. Po­tomac won the con­test 82-78.

PHO­TOS BY ROB WORMAN

Ch­e­sa­peake’s David Oliv­eras (Great Mills) goes up for the con­tested layup over Po­tomac’s Sean Pat­ter­son (St. Charles) in Fri­day night’s SMAC se­nior all-star boys bas­ket­ball game at North Point High School in Wal­dorf. Oliv­eras led Ch­e­sa­peake with 15 points in an 82-78 loss.

Po­tomac’s Aliyah Bul­lock (North Point) launches a three-point at­tempt with Ch­e­sa­peake’s Aleta Plater (Chop­ti­con) in Fri­day night’s SMAC se­nior all-star girls bas­ket­ball game at North Point High School in Wal­dorf. Bul­lock fin­ished with 15 points in a 75-48 loss to Ch­e­sa­peake.

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