Northampton exacts revenge, bounces Charles City out of playoffs
In the regular season, Charles City’s Kameron Johnson hit the game winning lay-up as time expired against the Northampton Yellow Jackets to upend the team from the Eastern Shore. On Monday night, the visitors made sure to keep the high-scoring guard in check.
Utilizing a box-and-one and trapping Johnson at every occasion, Northampton overcame a halftime deficit to defeat the Charles City Panthers 73-61 in the 1A Region A quarterfinal contest, ending the home team’s season.
After a sluggish start by both teams, Charles City’s Kobie Trull emerged from the bench to start the Panthers first run. Two wing trifectas played part of an 11-3 run to provide the hosts a 13-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
With Johnson drawing constant double teams, Leo Charity became the scoring threat for the Panthers. A steal and score by the forward was followed by a corner three from Johnson. Charity’s second close range basket coupled with teammate Justin Bradby’s score provided the hosts their largest lead of the night (24-14).
But Northampton regained control of the contest. A traditional three-point play by Yellow Jacket Bradyn Washington was followed by a three-pointer from teammate Ahmad Scarborough. Another Washington basket and the visitors had orchestrated an 8-0 run to cut the lead down to two.
However, the hosts bounced back with one last push before the half. Charity added two more buckets for the Panthers, and Rashad Williams bank shot sparked a 7-0 run before the Panthers settled in with a six-point halftime lead (34-28).
Charles City’s nightmarish third quarter came courtesy of Northampton guard Vonte Coston. From the beginning of the third, Coston drove between Panther defenders for easy lay-ins. Soon after, Scarborough followed suit, resulting in the visitors outscoring Charles City 25-11 in the third. The Panthers couldn’t get any closer than nine points for the remainder of the contest, resulting in the Yellow Jackets earning the win and advancing to the regional semifinals.
After the contest, Charles City head coach Terrell Brooks talked about his team’s lack of defense in the second half.
“We gave up too many dribble drives and we can’t beat anybody just giving up lay-ups,” he said. “Defensively, we just were not locked in.
“We didn’t stop them from driving when we played zone and when we played man, they still got to the basket,” Brooks continued. “Defense is a pride thing, whether you want to or not, you’ve got to want to say ‘I’m going to stop him from going here and there’ and we just didn’t do that tonight.”
For Charles City, finishing 15-9 was a complete turnaround from last season’s finish of 7-16. But now, Brooks will look to rebuild his team as eight of his 14 players will graduate. But the Panthers will have Johnson as a building block for one more year.
Charity’s 23 points led the Panthers in the scoring column, with Johnson also finishing in double figures with 15 points. Trull and Williams finished with six apiece, Justis Crawley pitched in with four, De’Rome Chretien finished with three, and the duo of Bradby and Keondre Barnes chipped in with two apiece.