By Whitney Metz –
The Chincoteague girls basketball team was named first in the region after its impressive 10-2 regular season. The Ponies were awarded a home game to start off regional play taking on Essex High School.
Chincoteague came out hot at the start of the game, going on a 9-0 run. Essex was able to get some offense started, but the Ponies kept the lead going with 13- 7 into the second quarter. The Ponies continued to score while pressuring Essex with strong defensive play. Chincoteague was up going into the half with a score of 25-13.
As the second half began, Essex switched its defense to a full court press in an effort to slow the Ponies offense. It wasn’t enough to give Essex the lead, but it allowed them to get back into the game, down by 7 points. The fourth quarter was off to an intense start as Essex continued to challenge the Ponies. With 2:31 left in the game, Essex took the lead for the first time in the game. Emma Jackson quickly responded for The Ponies, driving hard to the basket making the score 43-42.
The lead changed once again in Essex’s favor but another 2 points and a blocked shot by Jackson gave Chincoteague momentum with 44 seconds left on the clock.
Desperate for a last second chance, Essex called a timeout to game plan its next possession. Essex was able to put up another shot, taking the score to 46-45. Chincoteague attempted to respond again, but was unsuccessful inbounding the ball. Essex pulled away with a last minute win, 48-45, ending The Ponies hard fought season.
Chincoteague’s senior Emma Jackson dominated on offense recording 23 points on the night. She was assisted by Aly Clark and Lindsay O’Shea, who both scored 8 points for the Ponies. Chincoteague girls basketball will return next season with all but two players from this year’s squad: leading scorer Jackson and Megan Horner.