By Brennan Waldorf
The Northampton Yellow Jackets move into second place in the district after taking down Chincoteague last Friday, Dec. 13, in Eastville. They then traveled to Onley and defeated the Warriors on their homecourt Dec. 17, putting the Yellow Jackets one game out from district leader Arcadia.
The Jackets won the tipoff and never looked back as they attacked the Warriors interior with physicality and stretched the floor with full-court passes.
The Warriors’ offense was stalled in the first half as they struggled to knock down shots and protect the ball with the Jackets swarming defense that forced turnovers all night. In the first half alone, the Jackets forced eight turnovers compared to the Warriors’ two.
Turnovers were quickly converted into points by the Jackets in the form of fast break layups by Vonte Coston. The Jackets were exceptional in transition, quickly finding the open man and beating Nandua defenders back to the rim. Both teams were able to penetrate, often drawing contact that sent players to the charity stripe. Northampton capitalized on their free throws shooting 90% from the line compared to Nanduas 41%. The half closed with Jackets up 37-17.
The second half started with a big block from Nandua’s Gerald Pitt along with a Warrior full-court press. A foul sent Nandua’s Jason Blake to line to open scoring in the half. The Warriors then turned the tables forcing Jacket turnovers that led to hard fought points. The Warriorsclosed the gap to 12 points with a fast break dunk by Gerald Pitt but wouldn’t get any closer then that. The Jackets lineup change altered the momentum of the Warriors as they began to move the ball and find open passing lanes through the Warriors’ double teams and traps.
Nandua caused seven turnovers in the second half compared to Northampton’s three, but being down forced them to shoot the long ball, which neither team shot particularly well on the night. The Warriors were able to draw more fouls in the second half and that put some Jacket players in foul trouble. Northampton’s bench players were more than ready for the task when some of the starters got to four fouls. They kept the Warriors at bay keeping a double-digit lead the entire half.
The Northampton Yellow Jackets move to 4-1 on the season after the 73-49 road victory. They had four players score in double digits and were led by Quincy Washington who filled the stat sheet with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 7 steals in the contest. Ahmad Scarborough put 11 points on the board along with 10 rebounds. Vonte Coston led scoring with 15 points and 3 steals, Bradyn Washington added 14 points, and Jeremiah Major led rebounding with 15 along with two blocks.
Nandua’s Gerald Pitt once again led all scorers with 17 points. Malik Battle added another 13 followed by Tremere Summerville with 9 points.
The Warriors will be back on the court after Christmas, traveling to North Dorchester High School on Dec. 27 for a 7 p.m. tipoff. Northampton will travel to Surry County to take part in the two-day Surry Tournament on Dec. 26-27.