Crisfield routs NC in opener
Bulldogs have more turnovers than points in first half of a runaway
CRISFIELD — Leroy Fitchett’s first shot of the new season found nothing but net, a 3-pointer that gave North Caroline High’s boys’ basketball team its first lead less than a minute into Thursday night’s opener at Crisfield.
It went downhill from there, though, for the Bulldogs.
Class 1A Crisfield went on an 18-2 run to finish the first quarter, and held last season’s Class 2A state runnerup to just 14 first-half points en route to a 58-37 victory.
“We’ll be all right,” Bulldogs head coach Steve Perry said. “We’ve just got to get our point guard back, work on some things. But we’ll be all right.”
Junior J.B. Brown, who didn’t dress for Thursday’s game, is still nursing an ankle injury suffered in North Caroline’s seasonending football playoff loss to Elkton the week before Thanksgiving. Brown said he’s recovering well, but his return date was not firm yet.
Despite a rough road loss to open another season, Perry wasn’t down in the mouth, recalling how last season, his best at the helm for the Bulldogs, began.
“We went to (Stephen) Decatur last year and we
were losing by more than 30 points in that game opening night,” Perry said. “And yeah, we lost, but we turned things around. We’ll be better off once we get healthy and get some more time in. We’re still pretty young. It’ just a matter of time.”
Within a few seconds of Fitchett’s opening trey, Crisfield’s Justin Cohen replied with a 3-pointer to erase the Bulldogs’ only lead. Cohen outscored North Caroline in first-quarter scoring, hanging nine on the board. It was 3214 at halftime, Cohen having scored 10 of his 16 by halftime.
Between two press schemes — a 1-2-2 and a 2-21 — as well as some full-court man defense with three-quarter traps thrown in for good measure, the Crabbers forced 14 first-half turnovers by the Bulldogs, who also managed just three offensive rebounds before intermission.
“We really did a good job on the glass, even though they were a little bit bigger than us,” Crisfield head coach David Arnold said. “All-in-all, I think we scored about an eight on the 1-10 scale defensively tonight. There’s still a few things we can work on. Offensively, though, we were about a four. I think the big thing was that we missed a lot of free throws.”
Unlike the Bulldogs, who had trouble keeping a handle on the ball in the lane, the Crabbers went to the rack with some measure of success. More importantly, a lot of Crabber misses resulted resulted in foul calls, while the Bulldogs’ tries were deflected more, and usually wound up in the hands of a Crisfield defender.
Another big factor was who got whistled; by halftime, Fitchett had four personals, while Bulldog center Kendron Wayman had three. Fitchett sat after halftime.
“We did a good job in the lane and under the bucket,” Arnold said. “I think they played good defense against their big guys.”
Cortrey Fontaine, whose 21 points led all scorers, got hotter as things went on. He had just two points in the first quarter, and eight at the break. He put in 13 more down the stretch, as the Crabbers led by as many as 29 three different times before emptying the bench.
Rykell Waters added eight points and five steals, and Javen Smith scored seven.
Guard Montreyse Deshields and Wayman, as well as Fitchett, led North Caroline with nine points apiece.
North Caroline visits C. Milton Wright, in Bel Air, at 2 p.m. Saturday for its next game. The Crabbers travel to Wicomico at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Col. Richardson 62, Washington 50
PRINCESS ANNE — Diante Dickerson and Harley Maldonado
each scored 10 points to pace the Colonels.
The Colonels host Queen Anne’s on Tuesday.
Vassih Gadda’s 11 points for the Jaguars led all scorers, while Jamal Matthews had 10.
Wicomico 77, Cambridge-SD 57
SALISBURY — Just after honoring head coach Butch Waller by dedicating the court in his name, the Indians won their season opener, surging to a four-point lead after one quarter with a 6-0 run, and never looking back.
Cambridge-SD next plays at Kent County on Tuesday.
Dorian Stevens led Wicomico with 20 points, while Jaden Baker had 17.
Easton 90, Mardela 61
MARDELA SPRINGS — Easton used Lamont Powell’s 24 points and 23 from Jaedon Copper to power a seasonopening win.
Dante Hall (14) and Alek Riedel (11) also performed well for Easton, which next plays at Parkside on Tuesday.
Syncere Pinkett’s 19 points led Mardela.
Stephen Decatur 59, Queen Anne’s 56
BERLIN — Despite trailing by 10 with four minutes to play, the Seahawks edged the Lions.
A game-high 34 points, 15 rebounds, and five blocks by big man Churchill Bounds led Decatur.
Nick Dunkerly scored 16 for Queen Anne’s, while Thomas Murray (12) and Hugh Meehan (10) also broke double figures. Queen Anne’s visits Colonel on Tuesday.
J.M. Bennett 60, Kent Island 57
SALISBURY — Cole Kratovil scored 15 points, Christian Matthews added 10 points and 11 rebounds, as the Buccaneers lost their opener.
Toby Skeans added 11 points for Kent Island, which hosts St. Michaels on Tuesday.
Severn 78, SSPP 22
SEVERNA PARK — The Sabres (1-1) fell behind 25-6 after one quarter, and 43-16 at halftime, suffering their first loss of the young season on the road Wednesday night.
Gunther du Hoffman’s 17 points led Saints Peter and Paul, whose next game is tonight at 6 p.m. at home against Worcester Prep.
North Caroline High’s Kendron Wayman (32) battles with two Crisfield defenders under the rim during the third quarter of Thursday night’s game in War Memorial Gymnasium.