"Duffy Samuels .... Duffy Samuels ... All I ever hear about is Duffy this and Duffy that," Brian Samuels said. "I told them all before the game that I was going to set the record for steals. I kept getting close but wouldn't do it. Duffy...Duffy...Duffy. I just said I was going to break it."
In the early going, Samuels' defense was about the only thing HJC (22-7) had going its way. Chesapeake (4-18) stayed close to the Hawks, despite dressing only six players. The Skipjacks led four times early until HJC took a 15-14 lead with 11:51 left in the half on a 3-point basket by James Morse, his first of five on the night.
The Hawks turned up the defensive pressure on Chesapeake, forcing 24 of 42 turnovers in the first half. Samuels' poke-and-smoke style allowed HJC to shoot poorly from the perimeter and cover it up with transition baskets.
"It's just guessing, but you still have to get into position," Samuels said. "Most of the time it's anticipation, but it's nothing new. I'm used to playing defense from high school. I saw (Chesapeake) was shaky handling the ball. When I see that, I'm like a shark. I smell blood and I attack."
HJC led 48-31 at the half on a lead built primarily by 16 points off of turnovers. Chesapeake closed to 55-42 early in the second half, but the Hawks quickly pulled away.
All nine Hawks scored, led by Ryan Saunders with 27 points. Tony Greene added 22, followed by Morse with 19 and Robert Gregory with 18. Chesapeake's Jarmaine Young led all scorers with 28.
"This was a case of a team underestimating an opponent," HJC coach Jim Brown said. "It's not the opponent you have to be concerned with, it's with how you play. We weren't as effective as we have been until the last few minutes of the first half. After that we wore them down and took over."