Sanford has proven itself as Delaware’s best boys basketball team the last three seasons. Now the Warriors are building a regional reputation.
Coach Stan Waterman’s team traveled to Elmira, N.Y., for the Josh Palmer Fund/Coaches vs. Cancer Holiday Classic last week. Sanford’s bus made it through 6 inches of snow on the way there, and an additional 8 inches of snow on Saturday delayed the championship game until Sunday. But on the court, things couldn’t have gone much better for the Warriors.
Sanford (5-1) knocked off St. John’s College High of Washington, D.C., 74-67 in overtime, got past Shaker Heights (Ohio) 69-60, then topped Williamsport (Pa.) 73-66 in overtime in the championship game.
“It was really a good weekend for us,” Waterman said. “The team played really well. We put ourselves in some situations that I know will be helpful down the stretch.
“We had two overtime games, and we played a couple of games where some kids fouled out and some young kids had to step up.”
Sanford’s three opponents went a combined 6-0 in their other tournament games, winning by an average of 20.7 points. Williamsport, now 9-1, featured one player committed to Penn State and another committed to Navy.
The Warriors’ Todd Hughes was named tournament MVP, Kyle Rose and Anthony Mosley were voted to the all-tournament team and Mikey Dixon was voted best sixth man. Sophomore Jahni Love hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the Williamsport game into overtime.
Sanford has been playing without Austin Ford, but on Wednesday, Waterman said the 6-foot-5 senior could return from an injury within the next game or two. The top-ranked Warriors face a big in-state test at home against No. 10 Salesianum (6-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“We want to guard against having a letdown and feeling like we can breathe a little bit,” Waterman said. “We’ve got to do the things that we’ve done to this point to be successful.”
It was looking bleak for Delaware after three days of the Governor’s Challenge boys basketball tournament last week in Salisbury, Md.
But Saturday was the biggest day, with eight games pitting Delaware teams vs. Maryland teams. The First State went 6-2 to rally for an 11-10 record overall. So, for the third straight year, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will be sending a Smith Island cake to Delaware Gov. Jack Markell.
Woodbridge, Indian River, Delmar, Laurel, Sussex Central and Milford defeated Maryland teams on Saturday. If Maryland ever wins – Delaware is 3-0 so far – Markell will send O’Malley a Delaware peach pie.
Rounding it up
* The Wilmington Christian boys won the Bill Osborn Memorial bracket at the Boardwalk Basketball Classic last Friday and Saturday at the Wildwood (N.J.) Convention Center. The Warriors defeated Lower Cape May Regional (N.J.) 56-34 and Wildwood Catholic (N.J.) 55-36.
* St. Elizabeth’s Andre Patton caught a 33-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to help the North team to a 38-13 victory over the South in the third annual Chesapeake Bowl last Saturday in Landover, Md. The game showcases top seniors from the mid-Atlantic region, with the North team comprised of players from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and the South team representing Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
* Charter of Wilmington senior shortstop Alex Hoeschel has committed to play baseball at Yale. The Bulldogs are coached by former Cardinals and Reds pitcher John Stuper.
* Wilmington Friends girls soccer coach Scott Clothier has been named Region II coach of the year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Earlier, Archmere’s Bob Bussiere won the regional coaching honor for boys soccer. Both coaches will join seven other regional winners in the running for the national coach of the year awards, to be announced during the NSCAA convention Jan. 16-20 in Indianapolis.