Before the start of Chapelgate’s girls basketball game Tuesday, the team’s seven players warmed up in t-shirts to honor the loss of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died Sunday in a helicopter accident.
Chapelgate’s Joi Thornton then channeled her inner “Mamba” during the game by recording a triple-double to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 46-34 win over CHEN. The t-shirts the Yellow Jackets wore before the game had “Kobe 8” on the front and “Mamba 24” on the back.
“The fact that I did that tonight, considering we wore the Kobe shirts before the game, it feels really good to get a triple-double,” Thornton said. “… When I heard the news, it was really shocking. It really hit me hard, because he was one of my favorite players. It really broke my heart when I heard the news.”
The senior guard scored 28 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and tallied 10 steals for the triple-double. She also added five assists and three blocks in the win.
“She’s outstanding,” said Chapelgate head coach Kevin Florent. “She’s the glue. Everything goes through her. Because we have a young team, she’s a leader by example. She gets rebounds, scores and spearheads the defense. Each and every night she’s the best player on the floor. When her shot gets going, she’s really hard to guard.”
CHEN (2-10) was closing the gap in the second half and trailing by only two points entering the fourth quarter. Thornton then scored 14 of Chapelgate’s 16 points in the final period to give the Yellow Jackets (2-11) their second victory of the season.
“I’m really glad I could push through and do that at the end,” Thornton said. :My coach kept telling me to go to the basket, but I wanted to get my teammates involved. I finally got the push to go to the basket and score.”
CHEN, which stands for Christian Home Educators Network and represents the homeschooled basketball players in the state, didn’t have a lead all game. But Emma Wall and Holly Wall led the team with 21 and 11 points, respectively.
Turnovers plagued CHEN Tuesday, as it turned the ball over 32 times in the loss.
“I think turnovers hurt us the most when there was a big swing of momentum,” said CHEN head coach Jared Wall. “They’d hit a 3, and then we tried to move the ball up the court too fast. If we can get in our set offense, we can play well.”
Chapelgate took an 8-2 lead early and led 17-13 at the end of the first quarter. Freshman Kaylee Johnson scored eight points in the first quarter on jump shots to give the Yellow Jackets an early lead. Johnson ended the game with 10 points.
“She’s a good shooter,” Florent said. “If she gets the spacing, she can knock down shots. She has a good release and she’s learning a pump fake.”
Neither team could get its offense going in the second quarter, as only eight points were scored and the Yellow Jackets was up 21-17 at halftime.
Thornton then made big 3s in the second half to stave off a CHEN comeback and extend Chapelgate’s lead.
“She was unbelievable,” Wall said. “We weren’t expecting her to hit as many 3s as she did. We thought we could stop her going to the basket, but her 3-point shooting was excellent.”
CHEN started its season 0-10 but has won two games in the last week. The Yellow Jackets won their first game of the season last week against Cristo Rey and followed up that triumph with a double-digit victory Tuesday.
“We had a really tough start,” Florent said. “… We’ve got a young team. They’re playing with older girls, and some of them were afraid to start the year. I think we’re going to finish the year strong.”
CCA (2-8): J. Thornton 28, K. Johnson 10, J. Henderson 6, K. Hodge 2.
CHEN (2-10): E. Wall 21, H. Wall 11, F. Sanger 2.
Halftime: 21-17, CCA
OTHER GIRLS BASKETBALL SCORES
MONDAY, JAN. 27:
Southern 56, Hammond 16
So: C. Pinkney 19, E. Gulden 11, G. Kronk 10, I. Wooster 9, J. Chaney 2, J. Povlitz 2, H. Germann 2, E. Rielan 1.
Ha (2-7, 4-10): J. Fogle 6, K. Brown 3, H. Chambers 3, A. Haines 2, M. Woodson 2.
Halftime: 27-10, So
SATURDAY, JAN. 25:
Mt. Carmel 56, Glenelg Country 42
GCS (6-4, 11-9): C. Haynes 21, A. Bender 12, B. Byrne 6, L. Doreen 3.
Halftime: 24-12, MC
BOYS BASKETBALL SCORES
Wilde Lake 49, Carver Vo-Tech 46
The Wildecats trailed 37-33 entering the fourth quarter, but Brince Shelton scored nine points to lead Wilde Lake back for the victory. The Wildecats outscored Carver Vo-Tech 16-9 in the final period. Shelton and Sean Bethea both hit key 3-pointers in the period.
WL (8-5): Shelton 18, Monk 8, Mitchell 5, Boampong 5, Adams 4, Bethea 3, Avinger 2, Burris 2, Valentine 2.
CVT: Jenkins 14, Carpenter 12, Thompson 6, Lucas 6, Nesbit 5, Cunningham 3.
Half: 24-24 WL
Chapelgate 68, St. John’s 61
The Yellowjackets handed the Vikings just their second loss in the MIAA B Conference this winter, as Jax Felder scored a season-high 21 points to lead the way for Chapelgate.
CCA (6-4, 12-12): Felder 21, Ogunmola 14, Knox 12, Praylow 11, Hamilton 7, Akisanya 2, Richards 1.
SJ (7-2, 12-10): Moore 19, Pilgrim 12,Collins 11, Contreras 11, Sheppard 6, Knight 2.
Half: 32-26 SJ.
MONDAY, JAN. 27:
Oakland Mills 94, Dundalk 71
Truth Norton scored a career-high 32 points, his fifth straight game recording 28 or more points, to lead the Scorpions to the non-county victory.
Barry Evans added 21 points and Ke’mari Simpson added 14 for an Oakland Mills team that had nine different players score three or more points en route to the team achieving its highest point total this winter. Included was Tyler Miles hitting a 3-pointer late in the game for his first varsity points.
Oakland Mills trailed by 10 points, 22-12, at the end of the first quarter before regrouping to score 32 points in the second quarter and take a lead it never lost the rest of the way.
OM (12-3): Norton 32, Evans 21, Simpson 14, Hopkins 8, Diaby 5, Gray 4, Jackson 4, Miles 3, Ndiritu 3.
D: Nicholson 33, Perry 10, Brown 8, Garrus 6, Trimboli 5, Ray 5, Newland 4.
Half: 44-38 OM
Chapelgate 56, Friends 54
Jordan Praylow (18 points), Jax Felder (14) and Zach Knox (12) all scored in double figures for the Yellowjackets on the way to the MIAA B Conference victory.
CCA (5-4, 11-12): Praylow 18, Felder 14, Knox 12, Ogunmola 4, Hamilton 3, Mbergan 3, Richards 2.
F (5-3, 12-8): Derry 15, Vassor 13, George 7, Murehelya 7, Curtis 6, Hunter 6.
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Half: 38-26 CCA