By: Aaron Meekins, Assistant Men's Basketball Coach
WYE MILLS, Md. - Frederick faced-off Wednesday night against conference opponsent Chesapeake College hoping to get back on the winning track. The home team Skipjacks made this no easy task. Throughout the first half, the Skipjacks got a lot of production from their guards and energy from their post to routinely put the ball in the basket. Chesapeake jumped out to a 42-30 lead within the first 15 minutes of play. During this time, many key players for Frederick found themselves in foul trouble and every player dressed for the game found themselves contributing in the first half. The one constant in the first half for FCC was the offensive display of Tyre Gathright whose effective mid-range pull-ups and basket drives led to 19 points in the period. In the last five minutes of the half following a steal and fastbreak slam by Gathright, the Cougars found their stride defensively stopping the Skipjacks and getting into transition. FCC ended the first half on an 18-9 run to get within three at the intermission, 51- 48.
Frederick continued their momentum in the second half quickly extending their lead out of halftime. The Cougars continued getting stops and got big offensive contributions in the second half from freshmen Marlon White and Keon Claiborne, as well as sophomore Stacy Gipson. Claiborne and Gibson brought great energy off the bench, playing critical minutes which saw the Cougars build their own double-digit lead midway through the second period. While the Cougars struggled defensively in the first half. In the second half, FCC held the Skipjacks to just 32 points. The Cougar offense was efficient throughout the evening. FCC sizzled the nets going 34/57 (54%) from the field including 4/9 (44%) from three and a blistering 26-30 (87%) from the free-throw line which helped the Cougars finish off Chesapeake, 93-83.
Gathright finished the game with 27 points. Freshman Marlon White finished with 19 points, demonstrating a dual threat by knocking down the three and driving to the basket. Teammate Keon Claiborne finished with 15 points. Gipson finished with 10 points and six rebounds. Point guard Nygel Blake contributed a solid all-around performance with seven points, six rebounds, and six assists.
The Cougars improve to 5-8 overall including 4-3 in conference play. They return to conference play Friday night at The College of Southern Maryland. Tipoff is set for 6:00 PM.