By Brennan Waldorf
The Northampton girls basketball team further cemented its standing atop the district with a commanding win over Chincoteague at home Jan. 28. The Lady Jackets have been outstanding in district play this year, going a perfect 6-0, beating their district rivals by double digits in each contest.
Chincoteague won the tipoff in Eastville and scored twice before the Jackets responded. Emma Jackson was first on the board with a mid-range jumper. The Ponies then stole the ball on defense and Jackson scored again on a put-back basket in the paint. Northampton then cut the lead with a stellar inside pass by Jada Giddens to freshman Katie Widgeon. The Jackets were incontestable on defense as they forced turnovers and picked the pockets of the Ponies by cutting off passing lanes and trapping at midcourt. They took the lead after Maeyanna Delk was fouled on a drive to the basket. Giddens then scored on the inside, pushing the spread to 3. It was Chincoteague that finished the quarter ahead 8-7, after a put-back basket by Caroline Shelley and inside basket by Lindsay O’Shea.
The second quarter saw a much more aggressive Jacket defense that diminished space and gravitated to the ball. Northampton went on a 11-point run with Maeyanna Delk being the focal point of the attack. Delk started with a running floater in the lane followed by a steal and a layup. The next play she delivered a dime to Amyah Williams, putting the Jackets up 13-8. Delk was a magnet to ball on offense, creating space and drawing defenders that allowed her teammates to get open. She assisted or scored on every possession during the quarter.
The Jackets were up by double digits but took a big loss in the quarter when Jada Giddens went down with a knee injury with 1:21 remaining. She was unable to return to the game after the injury. With her absence came the conclusion of the Jacket run as Chincoteague had a long outlet pass to Allana Hall for a layup, ending the quarter 20-10.
The second half saw a pickup in fouls with both teams doing their fair share on both sides of the ball. Chincoteague managed to get within 4 points with some tough shots made by Jackson, but Northampton’s Delk controlled the pace and helped pushed her team ahead. With Giddens out of the game, there was a call for players to step up and that call was answered by Jayden Jenkins and Jala Sanders. Jenkins recorded the first 3 of the night on a pass by Delk at the end of the quarter, pushing the score to 32-19 in Northampton’s favor.
In the final quarter, Northampton coasted to the finish line with a comfortable lead throughout. The Ponies played hard and never gave in but NaPria Brown and Maeyanna Delk caused havoc on defense. The duo forced several turnovers and led scoring in the quarter, securing the win at home 54-30.
Northampton Maeyanna Delk led all scorers with 26 points, Napria Brown contributed 7 points, and freshman Jayden Jenkins recorded the only 3-pointers of the night finishing with 6. The Jackets will be back on their homecourt Feb. 3 for a matchup against Franklin High.
Chincoteague’s Emma Jackson finished with 12 points while Caroline Shelley and Alanna Hall each tallied 6. The Ponies willhost Holly Grove Feb. 3 for a 5:30 tipoff time on the Island.