By Rocco Geppi
Baltimore County, Md. -- CCBC Essex Athletics announced on March 26, 2019 that it had hired Mike Seney to be head women's basketball coach and tasked him to rebuild a program that had been absent for 15 years.
After just three weeks into the regular season, Seney has the Knights sitting at 5-1 and ranked No. 12 in NJCAA Division II with wins over two top 10 teams.
The Knights were also selected as the No. 1 team in the Maryland Juco Athletic Conference – as voted on by the conference head coaches – receiving seven first place votes.
"The fact we are being recognized at such an early point in the season lets the coaches and I know people are taking notice," Seney said. "Especially those in our conference. That says a lot about the team we have built in a short amount of time."
CCBC Essex began the season in dominating fashion, defeating Mercer County 109-43 at home.
University of Rhode Island transfer Kasey Gagan finished with a game-high 23 points on 6-of-10 shooting, which included going 4-for-7 from behind the arc. All in just 19 minutes.
Mya Moye – Florida A&M University transfer – scored 19 and freshman Trinity Horton (Chesapeake-Baltimore County) had 17. Freshman Kobie Scott-Pearson (Oakland Mills) chipped in 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting.
All three came off the bench.
The Knights' bench play has been deadly so far this season, as they currently average 41.8 points per game.
Horton seems to be Seney and company's first choice off the bench, averaging 14 points per game as the team's third leading scorer.
"My coaching staffs and I have had talent in the past, but this is the deepest team I've ever coached," Seney said. "Trinity Horton is a great example of that. She doesn't need much to get going and we love being able to bring her off the bench. She's almost a sixth starter. We don't lose anything with her in the game."
Essex's next game came on November 5 at home against Rowan College at Burlington County.
Although the Barons had a better shooting percentage than the Knights (40.7% to 36.1%), the home team picked up an 80-74 win.
The Knights would hit the road next for a pair of games November 8-9 in North Carolina.
Facing ranked opponents for the first time this season, Essex would split the weekend, defeating No. 4 Cape Fear 82-73 and falling to Wake Tech 67-61.
Moye led the Knights against Cape Fear, finishing with 21 points (7-11) and six assists.
Horton (15 points), Gagan (13 points) and freshman Amiyah Holmes (13 points) also finished in double figures.
Horton was one rebound shy of a double-double.
As a team, Essex shot 45.8% (11-24, 3-pointers) and made 11 more free throws than Cape Fear, despite the home team receiving nearly twice as many opportunities.
Less than 24 hours later, the Knights hit the hardwood to face Wake Tech.
Seney's Knights led 33-28 at halftime and still had a five-point edge to start the fourth quarter.
Ranked No. 18 at the time, the Eagles outscored Essex 25-14 in the final frame to hand the Knights their first loss of the season.
"I think we got so pumped for fourth ranked Cape Fear the day before that we put so much into that game, coaches included, and we let our foot off the gas against Wake Tech," Seney said.
Moye led the Knights with 16 points. Although she was just 4-of-20 from the field, she went 6-for-9 at the free throw line.
Less than a week later, the Knights averted losing two in a row and did so in grand fashion with another Top 10 victory.
On November 16, the Knights went west to its sibling campus for the CCBC Catonsville Mixer and faced No. 7 Union County on day one.
CCBC Essex had the top three scorers in the game, as the "receiving votes" Knights upset the Owls in a convincing matter 80-66.
Moye had a game-high 21 points (7-18) and five defensive rebounds and Horton came off the bench to finish with 20 (6-10).
Towson University transfer Aislinn Flynn finished with her first double-double of the season on 15 points and 12 rebounds.
"We couldn't wait to get back out on the court after that first loss," Seney said. "We weren't mentally ready against Wake Tech. We were locked in and ready to go against Union and we didn't have any real mental lapses."
On day two of the Catonsville Mixer, the Knights made quick work of Harcum College, sending the Bears back to Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania with a 92-63 defeat.
The Knights again finished with multiple student-athletes in double figures, led by Gagan who had 17 points (5-9), four steals and made 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
Moye finished with 16 points (5-10) and four assists and Horton had 14 (5-14) off the bench.
Although the Bears kept Flynn off the score sheet, she did finish with 10 rebounds (seven defensive) and three blocked shots.
The Knights head to New York this weekend for the Mustangs' Thanksgiving Classic, hosted by Monroe College (New Rochelle, N.Y.).
On Saturday, Essex plays ASA Brooklyn and takes on host Monroe on Sunday. Tipoffs are scheduled for 6 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.
Knights' fans can watch the action at https://team1sports.com/monroecollege and/or follow the live stats at https://monroecollegemustangs.com/sidearmstats/wbball.
The Knights open Maryland Juco Conference play on November 26 at Howard Community College.
Knights Statistic, etc.
- Moye leads Knights with 17.8 points per game…she ranks 34th out of more than 500 in NJCAA Division II…season-high 21 vs. Cape Fear
- Gagan is Knights' second leading scorer at 15.5 points per game…career-high 23 vs. Mercer County…leads team averaging 2.5 steals per game…started all six games
- Horton is Knights' third leading scorer with 14 points per game…career-high 20 vs. Union County…5-of-6 games off bench
- Flynn leads Knights averaging 11 rebounds per game, which is tied for 23rd out of more than 500 in NJCAA Division II…averaging 2.2 blocks per game, tied 23rd NCAA Division II…started all six games
- Averaging 84 points per game, with a 25-point average margin of victory
- Average 47.8 rebounds, 13.8 assists and 4.7 blocks per game as a team
- 37.7% Field Goals, 31.5% Three Pointers