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Favor Okigweh’s 32-point effort leads Joppatowne boys basketball to lopsided, 84-58 win over Bel Air

Joppatowne junior forward Favor Okigweh scored 32 points Thursday evening, leading the Mariners past visiting Bel Air, 84-58, in an Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference Chesapeake Division boys basketball game.

Joppatowne (7-5, 4-3 UCBAC) snapped a two-game losing skid, while the Bobcats (4-11, 0-8) saw its losing streak stretch to eight games.

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“We all knew what we wanted to do when we started the game,” Okigweh said. “We just had to execute, pass, lay the ball up, get back on D, pressure and that’s it.”

The Mariners did much of that, enabling them to run away for the lopsided win.

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Bel Air was able to stay close early. Tre Dennis, who led Bel Air with 29 points, scored nine in the first quarter, which ended with a 15-14 Joppatowne lead.

It was tied at 15, seconds into the second quarter, when Joppatowne scored eight straight. The final two points came on an alley-oop dunk off the inbounds pass for Okigweh.

“We practice that all the time in practice and yeah, we executed today,” Okigweh said. “It feels great, dunking is just so satisfying and it’s fun.” Okigweh added three more dunks in the game as part of his 32-point effort.

A 10-4 Mariners run increased the lead to 14, 33-19. The Mariners were getting multiple shots each possession, while the Bobcats were getting one and sometimes none.

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The half ended with Joppatowne holding the 14-point lead, 39-25.

“The last game we came out flat and it was just hard for us to recover,” Mariners coach Jesse Jones said. “Hard day at practice yesterday just focusing on regrouping and focusing on the basic principles of what we do best and that is what we focused on coming into this game.”

The Mariners came out of the halftime break quickly pushing the lead to 19, 52-33. Point guard Daniel Webb’s three-point play and an Okigweh dunk provided the five points. Okigweh scored 10 points in the quarter, while Bel Air scored 15 as a team.

Bel Air’s Louie Rodriguez scored seven of his 18 points in the third quarter that ended with his team trailing by 21, 61-40.

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An 8-2 Mariners run pushed the lead to 69-42 early in the fourth quarter. Okigweh added 12 points in the quarter before coming to the bench with a couple minutes left.

Webb finished with 15 points and Kenny Hunter Jr. netted 11 in the win. Jordan Day added eight points.

“Right now, we don’t know which team we’re going to end up getting. We ran Aberdeen and Havre de Grace, wire-to-wire and we played great as a team,” Bel Air coach Darko said. “And then we have our games where we’re in it for a quarter and a half and that’s it. I think tonight was Joppatowne picked up the intensity starting the second quarter and they just took us out of our game. They rushed us we made a lot of mistakes. We didn’t run offense structure at all, until it was too, late.”


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