On a night when Chapelgate’s Matthew Frierson set career highs for points and 3-point field goals, it seemed only fitting that he was the guy stepping to the foul line in the closing seconds of Tuesday’s game against Glenelg Country.
Capping off a 29-point effort, Frierson sank both free throws to put the finishing touches on a 67-59 Yellowjacket road win that marked the program’s first over the Dragons since the 2005-06 season.
“My teammates were getting me open all game, so all I had to do was hit the shots,” said Frierson, who knocked down seven threes. “Literally everything I threw up felt good coming out of my hands and felt like it was going to go in. So I just tried to work myself around the screens and set my feet.”
With Frierson firing on all cylinders, the supporting cast for Chapelgate (2-2) also did their part down the stretch. Terrell Willis (12 points), Malik Grandy (10) and John Morant (8) each produced clutch baskets, helping keep Glenelg Country (0-1) from getting any closer than two points during the fourth quarter.
Then, in the final 30 seconds of regulation, Cullin Hardin made a layup, Morant made a free throw and Frierson drained two of two from the line to create the final eight-point margin.
“This one is big for a lot of reasons,” Chapelgate coach Frick Frierson said. “It’s big because it’s the Route 40 Classic, because it’s an A Conference team in their gym, because it’s a rivalry between two Howard County schools and because it’s been so long since we’ve beaten them.”
Chapelgate’s victory spoiled a huge effort from Glenelg Country senior Chancellor Barnard, who is committed to play for Loyola University next year. Barnard scored 24 points, including 11 in the third quarter as he tried to help the Dragons battle back from a 10-point deficit at the half.
But for every push by Glenelg Country, Chapelgate had an answer. Dragons coach Kevin Quinlan said everything came back to the defensive end for his team.
“I felt a little bit nauseous seeing us allow them to put 41 points on the scoreboard by halftime … that’s not our kind of basketball,” Quinlan said. “Hats off to them, they were the better team tonight no question about it in almost all phases. They exposed our weaknesses and it all comes back to us needing to be a lot stingier defensively.
“We aren’t going to win too many games unless we clean things up on that end.”
Glenelg Country had the upper hand early, holding a 21-19 lead after a first quarter in which Barnard and CJ Wilson combined to score 17 of the Dragons’ points.
However, Chapelgate turned up the pressure defensively in the second quarter and all of a sudden Frierson caught fire.
“We pushed up the trap more, so that we could get more steals and get ourselves some open shots in transition,” Matthew Frierson said.
In a span of exactly two minutes, Frierson knocked a jumper, made a lay-up and than sank three straight 3-pointers. During that run, which was broken up only by a 3-pointer by Barnard, Chapelgate went from being down two to up eight.
The Yellowjackets pushed the lead up to 10 points, 41-31, at the half and never lost the lead after that.
“The way our offense works, it seems like it’s someone different leading us every night. Tonight it was (Matthew’s) turn,” Frick Frierson said. “He kept coming off the screens, caught it and shot … he didn’t think about it. And when he does that, he’s shown he’s capable of getting into a real rhythm.
“I was proud of him and all the guys tonight.”
Chapelgate 67, Glenelg Country 59
CCA (2-2): Frierson 29, Willis 12, M. Grandy 10, Morant 8, Jolly 3, M. Grandy 3, Hardin 2.
GC (0-1): Barnard 24, Wilson 10, Rajovic 10, Williams 7, Bernetti 5, Burnett 2, Pickens 1.
Half: 41-31 GC.