WYE MILLS –Akanni Salako, who had to be encouraged by his coach to shoot, ended up shooting his way into the Chesapeake College men's basketball record book.
The sophomore guard scored a school-record 47 points and set another Chesapeake mark with 11 3-pointers Monday night as the Skipjacks routed the U.S. Naval Academy's junior varsity, 113-49. Salako made 15-of-26 field-goal attempts, including 11-for-19 from the 3-point line, and sank all six of his free throws during his record-breaking performance.
"Early on, he (Salako) wasn't really looking for his shot," said Chesapeake head coach Joel Dearring. "We told him when he got the ball in a good position he needed to take the shot."
"I'm not used to shooting that much," said Salako. "The coaches were telling me to shoot when I had the open shot. Once I got into the flow of the game, I started shooting more."
Geran Pope (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Kevin Bonsu (10 points, nine rebounds) were the only other Skipjacks in double figures, but Jahmante Jackson added nine while William Gilmore and Chadwick Church (10 rebounds) each scored eight. All told, 10 Skipjacks found their way into the scoring column.
Dearring praised the play of Gilmore, who set the school single-game assist record with 14 while pulling down seven rebounds and coming up with a team-high four steals.
"He's really coming into his own and becoming quite a leader," said Dearring.
The Skipjacks, who had a 50-21 halftime lead and scored 63 second-half points, shot nearly 55 percent from the field and an even 50 percent from the 3-point line. They also made 15-of-17 free throws to complete a hot-shooting performance and had 29 assists as a team.
The Skipjacks return to league play Wednesday with a 7 p.m. game at Prince George's Community College. Dearring, in his third year as Chesapeake's head coach, is still seeking his first win against PGCC after spending two decades as an Owls assistant.
Chesapeake's undefeated women's basketball team plays the Owls in the 5 p.m. opener of the doubleheader.