Chapelgate Christian Academy’s boys’ basketball team was amped for its non-league game against Coppin Academy Saturday afternoon. The Yellowjackets got the rare opportunity to play on college court at Coppin State University.
The defending MIAA C Conference champs made the most of their trip to west Baltimore, taking a 57-42 decision. Senior forward Matt Phillips scored 16 points for Chapelgate (18-5 overall), and Nate Frierson added 15.
The Ellicott City school pulled away in the second half to pick its sixth consecutive decision before a festive homecoming audience. The Yellowjackets enjoyed the atmosphere inside the relatively new arena that has hosted several local high school basketball events, most recently the Basketball Academy.
“It was fun. The guys really enjoy playing in the big arena,” said Chapelgate coach Frick Frierson. “They were excited about coming over here to play.”
“It’s Coppin State University, a big college campus,” said Winfield Taylor. “We played them last year in a good game and we wanted the same result this year.”
Taylor, one of four senior starters, scored all 14 of his points over the final 16 minutes as Chapelgate outscored Coppin Academy, 33-17. A three-pointer by Chisom Uzosike gave Chapelgate the lead for good with a three-pointer to open its scoring in the second half, then a 6-0 spurt with scores by Nathan Carrothers, Phillips and Uzosike, extended the lead to 39-27 late in the third quarter.
A runner by Juquan Richardson brought Coppin Academy to 42-35 with just under six minutes left in regulation, but a three-pointer by Phillips for a 49-39 advantage with 95 seconds to play, was the proverbial nail in the coffin. The Yellowjackets’ matchup zone was able to limit Coppin Academy’s high scoring Josh Adeyeye in the second half.
Adeyeye led all scorers with 22 points for Coppin Academy (7-4), a charter school in the Baltimore City Public System. The athletic 6-foot-5 forward has been a terror against MIAA competition, scoring a season-high 36 points against Park School along with 29 against Loyola Blakefield.
Coppin Academy coach William Wiley said the Yellowjackets backcourt, led by Frierson and Phillips, was the difference.
“They were consistent,” said Wiley, who was an assistant at Randallstown during the Rams’ run of five state titles between 2001-2007. “They didn’t rattle and they outplayed our guards.”
The Yellowjackets have held their own under a tough non-league schedule including a victory over Prince George’s County Surrattsville, which will be a contender for the Class 1A South Region title. Chapelgate’s last loss was against perennial national powerhouse Montrose Christian, ranked No. 5 in the latest USA Today’s Super 25 poll.
“Coach [Frierson] wanted to give us a challenge this year,” said Uzosike, a returning starter from last season’s 25-6 squad. “He wanted if see we can still have a good record with the players we have here. It’s helping get our name out there.”
“We try to play the toughest games we can find,” said Frierson, who’s a victory shy of his 100th at Chapelgate. “We try to make sure no one gets big-headed.”
The Yellowjackets complete their regular season league schedule this week with Key School (Monday), Beth Tfiloh (Tuesday) and Indian Creek (Friday). Chapelgate has won all nine of its league games by an average margin of 25 points.
“The law of averages is there so we try not to talk about it too much but we have to be realistic about it,” said Frierson, whose team went undefeated in league play last season. “Our motto is ‘Start a one-game win streak.’”
|Chapelgate Christian 57, Coppin Academy 42|
Chapelgate: Frierson 15, Phillips 16, Uzosike 8, Taylor 14, Obi 3, Lawrence 1. Totals: 18 16-23 57.
|Coppin Academy: Richardson 5, Adedeye 22, Sampson 4, Collins 2, Johnson 7, Smith 2. Totals: 18 6-10 42.|
|Halftime: Chapelgate 24, Coppin Academy 24|