Sanford and Cape Henlopen’s boys basketball teams both have their own reasons for playing each other early in the season despite the long distance between the schools.
For Sanford coach Stan Waterman, the game offers a nice early season getaway from the norm and a competitive environment. For Cape coach Stephen Re, the contest provides his team with a chance to learn and grow from the three-time defending state champion Warriors.
It was Sanford that wowed the crowd defensively, especially in the second quarter, and junior Todd Hughes scored 18 points as the Warriors rolled to a 71-47 rout of Cape Henlopen in a nonconference game on Friday night.
“We always come down [to Cape],” said Waterman, whose team improved to 2-0. “It’s a great atmosphere for a high school game, and I figured [Cape Henlopen’s] intensity would keep them in the game for the first quarter. We picked it up defensively in the second quarter and got the game under control.”
The teams exchanged the lead 10 times, and the game was tied on five other occasions during a frantic first 10 minutes. Sanford held a 19-18 lead following Anthony Mosley’s steal and dunk at the end of the first quarter.
Cape managed to tie it back up at 22 following Toney Floyd’s three-point play with 6:06 left until halftime.
But Sanford went on a 14-2 run to finish the first half, getting seven straight points from Hughes at one point during the spurt, to take command with a 36-24 halftime lead. The run was fueled by Vikings turnovers.
“We just started playing harder,” Hughes said. “We had them in the game and we let them stay in the game. We knew that we had a lot of mistakes that we made and we just limited the mistakes and just worked harder to stop them and we just took off.
“We kept our heads up on defense and put a lot of pressure on them and communicated and it just made our game.”
Sanford began the third quarter on an 11-2 run, getting a dunk from Mosley and a 3-pointer from Hughes, as it pulled away with a 47-26 lead.
Mosley scored 11 points and had five assists, Sabri Thompson chipped in nine points to go with six steals and six assists and Kyle Rose added eight points and six rebounds for the Warriors.
“They’re playing well together,” Waterman said. “They’re doing a nice job of sharing the ball and again it’s on the defensive end where we hope to get it done and they’re playing pretty hard.”
Tyreik Burton scored 12 points and Floyd added nine points for Cape Henlopen (1-1), which suffered from 24 turnovers.
Re made sure after the contest that his team absorbed the defeat. He didn’t want the Vikings to simply shake it off.
“We don’t shake this off. This is why we schedule it,” Re said. “If you look at our schedule I’ll bet we have one of the five toughest schedules in the state and we don’t shake these off. We want to take this loss personally because [Sanford’s] the level that we want to get to.”