Joppatowne point guard C.J. Townes simply took over late in the third quarter of last night's game with Bel Air.
Townes scored 14 of his team-high 20 points in the final 11 minutes to help Joppatowne pull away for a 71-60 victory over visiting Bel Air in an Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference game.
Bel Air (5-4, 0-1) trailed much of the game and had cut the Joppatowne lead to 38-34 with just under three minutes left in the third quarter. The Bobcats began pressuring the ball more, and Joppatowne coach Keven Moldenhauer told Townes to take it to the basket whenever possible.
Townes began driving to the basket on nearly every possession. He would take it in or pass to an open teammate. The guard scored four of his team's final eight third-quarter points and added 10 of the first 12 in the fourth period to give Joppatowne (6-3, 2-0) a 58-49 lead with 4:23 left.
"I saw the opportunity to step up," said Townes, The Sun's Defensive Player of the Year for Harford County football. "I drove and I stayed aggressive. I kept attacking."
Townes added five assists and seven rebounds. Joppatowne needed offensive help since it was playing without top scorer Jeremiah Conner because of disciplinary reasons. Kevin Harris and Taron Little helped with 14 points apiece, while Brandon Selby added 13, but Joppatowne struggled at the start.
The Bobcats jumped to an 11-4 advantage and tried to slow the pace down. Joppatowne rallied and took a 28-25 halftime lead and forced Bel Air to speed up the tempo in the second half.
Lionel Perkins led the Bobcats with a game-high 29 points - including 14 in the fourth quarter. Donn Hill added 15 for the Bobcats, but the Mariners' tough defense held him to just seven points after the first four minutes.
The Bobcats were playing without third-leading scorer Tyrell Stewart because of disciplinary reasons.