All of the teams in the Henlopen North boys basketball race better buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Six of the seven teams have played five of their 12 conference games (Caesar Rodney has only played four), and already every team has at least one loss. And every team has at least one win.
“Anybody can beat anybody on any given night,” Cape Henlopen coach Stephen Re said. “… Everybody is in kind of a little bunch. Who is going to be the last one standing?”
The Vikings (5-4, 4-1) missed a chance to take control of the race Friday night, scoring only two points in overtime to fall 63-55 at Caesar Rodney.
“We could have put some nice separation between us,” Re said. “We ended up letting this one slip away, or we could have had a little cushion.”
The Riders (7-1, 3-1) are squarely back in the picture following the return of coach Freeman Williams. The 36-year-old guided Caesar Rodney to a 66-28 record from 2007-10, including a 24-3 season that ended with a loss to William Penn in the 2009 DIAA state championship game.
Then Williams left to become vice principal at CR’s Allen Frear Elementary. The Riders went into a tailspin, going 20-40 over the last three seasons. Now Williams is back on the bench and in the school as CR’s dean of students.
“I honestly missed coaching,” Williams said. “It’s exciting to be back working the program and working at what we’re trying to accomplish.”
The Riders are currently ranked fourth in the state, with Sussex Tech (7-2, 3-1) ninth. Cape also has spent time in the top 10.
The biggest surprise has been Polytech, which moved up to the North from the Henlopen South this year. The Panthers were ranked fourth in an informal poll of many of the state’s coaches during the preseason, then lost their first six games. But Polytech (1-7, 1-4) showed it still has some bite last Wednesday with a 60-50 win over CR.
Smyrna (4-4, 2-3), Dover (2-6, 2-3) and Sussex Central (1-6, 1-4) also have had some bright spots, so there will be no easy nights in the Henlopen North this season.
Thanks to Howard High student Mason Blue, who made sure one of his schoolmates was recognized last Thursday. Blue was filming the Howard-Hodgson boys basketball game when the Wildcats’ Alonje Curry tipped in a shot at the buzzer to give Howard a 59-57 victory.
Blue sent a 15-second video clip to The News Journal, and it was posted on delawareonline.com that night. There are sure to be many other buzzer-beaters and great plays in all sports throughout the school year, and we encourage everyone to send short video clips to email@example.com. It’s a great way to spread the word and show everyone your team’s shining moment.
Defending state champion Padua stamped itself as the favorite for another DIAA Indoor Track and Field title Saturday, piling up 121 points to easily take the team title at the N5CTA Winter Series meet at Haverford (Pa.) College.
The Pandas won the 4×400- and 4×800-meter relays and got individual victories from Maiya Dendy (55 meters), Karlee Panella (1,600), Maddie Olivere (3,200) and Ashley Muschiatti (shot put).
Smyrna was second with 84 points, as Raven Luckett took the 200 and 400 and Erin Cooper won the 800 for the Eagles. Delcastle (61 points) finished third, with Sherita Lowman winning the 55-meter hurdles and the Cougars taking the 4×200 relay. Other individual winners were Cape Henlopen’s Megan Hart (high jump), Middletown’s Amber Celen (long jump) and St. Georges’ Micaiah Dendy (triple jump).
The boys team race was much closer, with Smyrna (56) getting past William Penn (40), St. Georges (38), Tatnall (36) and Howard (36). Gabe Mojica (1,600) and Jamal Powel (triple jump) took individual titles for the Eagles.
William Penn flexed its muscles with wins in the 4×200 and 4×400 relays, and Charter of Wilmington won the 4×800. Glasgow had two sprint winners in Simeon Dailey (55 meters) and Jay Whalen (200).
Other individual winners were St. Georges’ Keyjuan Selby (400), Wilmington Friends’ Thomas Connelly (800), Brandywine’s Eamon McCoy (3,200), Howard’s Kymere Pritchett (55-meter hurdles), Cape Henlopen’s Lucas Reis (high jump), Hodgson’s Justin Hardy (long jump) and Tatnall’s Nick Robinson (shot put).
With no suitable facility in Delaware, this year’s DIAA Indoor meet will be held Feb. 21 at the Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Md.
Rounding it up
* Archmere is seeking a varsity girls tennis coach. Send résumés to athletic director David Oswinkle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (302) 798-6632.
* A.I. du Pont is seeking a head coach for girls lacrosse. Send résumés to athletic director Mark Alley at email@example.com by noon on Jan. 20.
* Brandywine also is seeking a head coach for girls lacrosse. Send résumés to athletic director Rick Shea at Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org.