By Daniel Fama
LARGO, MD -- For the second straight season, Montgomery came into the Maryland Juco Tournament as the No. 6 seed and for the second year in a row they fell in the quarterfinal round to the No. 3 seed, this time Chesapeake by a final of 71-65.
How it Happened
In an evenly matched first quarter, the Montgomery College Raptors and Chesapeake College Skipjacks both capitalized on points off turnovers, scoring nine points each. A 9-0 run by Chesapeake was highlighted by a corner 3-pointer made by Emily Truitt, January's Maryland Juco Conference Women's Basketball Student-Athlete of the Month. Montgomery would answer with a late 5-0 run, pulling them within two. Chesapeake held a 16-14 lead after one.
The second quarter belonged to the Skipjacks, as they opened with an 11-0 run. They would go on to shoot over 52% for the quarter, further distancing themselves from a struggling Raptors team who only managed two field goals in that time. Chesapeake would go on to outscore Montgomery 23-7 in the quarter, behind the effort of Chantelle Gross, who scored seven in the frame. At the half the Skipjacks led the Raptors 39-21.
Montgomery rebounded from their poor second quarter performance, opening the second half with an 11-0 run of their own, pulling them within seven. However, Chesapeake was able to keep their distance with a late quarter push that ended with another corner three by Truitt. Despite their early-quarter push, Montgomery still trailed by 14 heading to the fourth.
Armonie Lomax put up 11 points in the final frame for the Raptors, but they could not take advantage of the Skipjacks' 29 turnovers, scoring just 27 points off the mistakes. The 'Jacks defense did just enough to overcome the team's offensive errors and Montgomery's late push would fall short.
Quotes and Notes
"We knew we had to bring defensive intensity," said Skipjacks head coach Gwen Barnes. "Montgomery is an excellent team and we knew they were going to pressure us, we knew it was going to be a fast pace game. One of the things I stress to my team is to stay mentally focused and not panic against the pressure."
"We've been practicing on our intensity on defense," said the Skipjacks' Emily Tuitt. "[It's] something we've been really working hard on. It's something we brought to the table today and I think it was a big factor."
Chesapeake advances to play the No. 2 seeded Baltimore City Panthers on Saturday at noon.