NORTH EAST—After losing eight of its first ten games to start the season, Cecil College went to work to become a more cohesive unit.
The results came quickly, as the Seahawks won eight of their previous nine games entering Saturday's Maryland JUCO men’s basketball contest against visiting Howard Community College.
The unselfish play continued against the Dragons as the Seahawks dominated the first half on both sides of the floor en route to an 88-64 victory, the team's fifth in a row.
“It’s confidence,” Cecil’s Hassan Corbin said. “We’re moving the ball more and playing as a team more. We’re also closing out games and coming out harder.”
After Howard scored the first points of the game, the Seahawks scored the game’s next 16 to take firm control, 16-2. They continued to pour it in the remainder of the half, jumping out to a 53-24 advantage at the midway point.
“We were aggressive from the jump. The coaches told us to be aggressive. We needed a win. We were finishing through contact,” said Corbin, who had a team-high 19 points.
Cecil head coach Ed Durham inspired his team not to overlook Howard despite the visitors missing several players in the lineup.
“They were missing three guys, but I felt nervous about them coming in. Their record says who they are, but they have been in every game,” Durham noted. “They’ve only been [out of it] once in the last eight games. It was a concern coming in, but I kind of knew once we got in they would struggle guarding us, especially inside the paint.”
Cecil could not carry over the spirt of play it enjoyed in the first half into the second, but its lead never dropped below 24 points.
The Seahawks' recent run of success has put them position to contend for the Region XX Tournament despite the poor start to the campaign. Durham said the squad will have to continue this strong play in order to stay in contention.
“We’re still fighting to get into the regional tournament because we buried ourselves in an early hole. We’re 3-4 in the region. Originally, we were 1-4,” Durham said. “We still got four more region games. We feel like we have to go 2-2 in those games to get in. We just want to carry this and see what we can come up with. We’re 11-9 now, and that’s a great thing.”
Shylier Ringgold and Darrel Johnson added 11 points to Cecil’s cause, while Khalid Gates added 10 more.
Howard College earned a game-high 20 points from Kevin Yomba.