Chesapeake uses 7-2 run to hold off Nighthawks

By CHRIS KNAUSS cknauss@stardem.com

WYE MILLS — Chesapeake College men’s basketball team capped a double-header sweep of Northern Virginia Community College in the Skipjacks’ home-opener Tuesday evening.

Chesapeake’s women opened the evening with a blowout victory over NOVA before the men held off the Nighthawks for a 76-72 victory in the nightcap.

The Skipjacks took the lead to stay with a 7-2 run midway through the second half. NOVA got within one point with under two minutes to play, but Joey Adams’ fastbreak layup off a pass from Mahzi Thames sealed the victory in the final seconds.

With 3:32 left in the game, NOVA was down 73-65, but over the next minute and a half got the Skipjacks’ advantage down to one. Luke Jones drained a 3-pointer to make it 73-72 with 1:53 left on the clock. But the Nighthawks couldn’t overtake Chesapeake and were held scoreless for the remainder of the game.

Amir Pettiford hit a free throw with 1:35 to play to put Chesapeake ahead 74-72. The Nighthawks turned the ball over on their final three possessions.

Thames and Craig Turner each scored 19 points for the Skipjacks, who improved to 5-1 overall, 4-1 in NCJAA Region 20 action. Chesapeake was coming off its first loss, a 109-63 setback to Community College of Beaver County (Pa.) on Saturday.

“It was our first home game. We played five straight road games,” Skipjacks head coach Andrew Sachs said. “They’re a solid team and they’ve played some pretty good competition. They just lost at the buzzer the other night. They were up two and a kid hit a three to win it at Harford and they’re Division I JUCO. They lost to Allegany by six; they’re a Division I JUCO. It was a good game for us. We found a way to win. I don’t think it was pretty.

“Defensively, the first 10 minutes were pretty bad,” Sachs added. “The last part of the first half was really, really good. They were on 35 for a long time. They opened it up a little bit early in the second half and we locked it up again. We’re not the biggest basketball team in the world. In two and a half months this is the team that we put together as best as we could. They battled and they found a way to win, and that’s all you can really ask for.’’

Pettiford provided seven assists for the Skipjacks and Justin Atwood snared seven rebounds. Adams finished with 14 points.

NOVA led 51-46 with 13:15 remaining in the second half before Chesapeake’s 7-2 run.

“Beginning of the second half we kind of slouched down,” Adams said. “But then we knew we had to kick it in gear, so we jumped back into it. When we get the steals and we get the defense, we got to capitalize, got to score. Every time we get down there we got to score. And after we score, we’ve got to get a stop. We’ve got to work our way with the little things — rebounding, steals, deflections.”

Chesapeake shot 51 percent from the field. The Skipjacks got 22 bench points and 22 points off turnovers, but also turned the ball over 22 times. They hit 14 of 24 free throws.

The loss drops the Nighthawks to 2-4 on the year.

Tyland Crawford led the NOVA offense with a game-high 22 points, while Jones added 14 on 7-of-18 shooting.

Chesapeake hosts Montgomery College on Friday, which is also 5-1.