ELKTON — Frustration was the word of the night for Elkton during its Chesapeake Division boys’ basketball contest against visiting Joppatowne, as nothing went right in the fourth quarter Friday.
The Golden Elks entered the final quarter trailing by a point, but managed to score just 10 points in the frame while allowing the Mariners to go to the foul line 14 times in a 58-51 loss.
“In the fourth quarter, our kids were frustrated,” Elkton coach Charles Givens Sr. said. “They were frustrated because we only had a couple of kids actually playing basketball. It was a number of things. It was just a few people scoring.”
The Golden Elks trailed 42-41 as the fourth quarter began, but saw their deficit balloon to nine at 55-46 with 3:59 left in the game as Joppatowne opened the final quarter on a 12-4 run to take firm control.
The run featured just a pair of field goals – a 3-pointer by Alan Brown and short-range bucket by Kenneth Ejelonu – while the rest of the points in the spurt came from the Mariners going 7-10 from the free-throw line.
“I don’t think it was any intentional fouls or anything like that, but I guess that’s just what the way the kids played at the end. They played hard for a while, and for a while, they didn’t play hard,” Givens Sr. said. “You can’t expect two guys to shoot, play defense, run up and down the floor, get tired and nobody is helping. They’re trying to win just like everybody’s trying to win. It just didn’t happen.”
Elkton clawed back to within five on two occasions, the latest of which was at 56-51 with 1:20 remaining in the game after Troyone Neal made one of two free throws, but the Golden Elks could not get any closer as they missed three shots down the stretch and the Mariners sealed the victory by making a pair of free throws.
Trevin Ewing and Marques Battle scored 20 and 11 points, respectively, for Elkton. Joppatowne received a game-high 24 points from Brown and 10 more from George Willinger.