LEWES – There were a lot of things that could have derailed the Mount Pleasant boys basketball team on Thursday.
An 11 a.m. tipoff. An opponent from a foreign country. An illness that sidelined their head coach.
The Green Knights overcame it all with ease, dispatching St. Michael’s College School of Toronto 69-43 at the Slam Dunk to the Beach showcase at Cape Henlopen High.
“It was kind of rough. We had to get up and get going,” Mount Pleasant’s KVonn Cramer said. “We knew we had to bring up the energy.”
It turned out to be smooth sailing for Delaware’s top-ranked team. Cramer, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, dominated inside with 22 points as the Green Knights improved to 7-0. And he did it against a Blue Raiders team that started 6-9 senior Atik Gilao and added a couple of big guys off the bench.
“I saw their size and I said, ‘We’re going to have a little competition down low,’” Cramer said. “But it worked out.”
St. Michael’s (10-7) had it going early, jumping to a 7-2 lead in the first two minutes. But the Green Knights quickly took control, closing the first quarter on a 13-2 run. Cramer dropped in three consecutive layups, Brian Miles bombed a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Fah’Mir Ali banked in a runner for a 20-12 lead.
Mount Pleasant was fueled by its struggles in its first game here, as the Green Knights had to erase a fourth-quarter deficit to overcome host Cape Henlopen 48-42 on Tuesday.
“We kind of didn’t play well in that first game against Cape, so the kids were eager to get back on the floor and show everybody how we can really play,” said assistant coach Will Johnson, who filled in ably for ailing head coach Lisa Sullivan.
Mount kept it rolling in the second quarter, scoring the first 13 points. Keon Taylor capped the run with a three-point play for a 33-12 lead with 3:21 left in the half.
The Blue Raiders made 9 of 39 3-point attempts in a 65-45 loss to Eleanor Roosevelt of Greenbelt, Md., on Wednesday night, so the Green Knights knew what was coming. They held St. Michael’s to 7 of 24 beyond the arc.
“When we saw them play yesterday, we knew they shot the ball well, took almost 40 3s,” Johnson said. “So we knew we had to contest everything with our guards and kind of help from the inside out. The kids really bought into what I asked them to do defensively, and I think that got our offense going.”
Miles added 11 points, and Ali controlled the tempo with six points, eight assists and four steals. Kyle Duke-Simpson led St. Michael’s with 16 points.
Contact Brad Myers at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ.