Concord boys basketball coach Ralph Flowers has worked to improve the Concord Classic in each of its five years, and this season’s event has reached a new peak.
Five teams ranked among Delaware’s top 10 will participate in the two-day, seven-game showcase. Each game will match a Delaware team against an out-of-state opponent over three sessions on Saturday and Monday.
“We’ve had a great response from the coaches, and they all tell me they enjoy it,” Flowers said. “It gives them a good test before the playoffs start, and it gives them a chance to play a team that they might not normally play.”
The action starts at 2 p.m. Saturday as Concord hosts Flint Hill of Oakton, Va., which is 2-9 against a very tough schedule and has never lost in three trips to this event. Then fifth-ranked Smyrna (5-1) will follow against East Orange (N.J.) Campus (5-3) at 4.
Monday’s first session begins with Brandywine against West Chester (Pa.) East at 10 a.m. Then No. 6 William Penn will meet perhaps the toughest out-of-state opponent at 11:45, as Westinghouse of Brooklyn is 8-1 and ranked 26th in New York by maxpreps.com. Third-ranked Mount Pleasant will wrap up Monday’s first session at 1:30 p.m. against American History of Newark, N.J.
Then the gym will be cleared, and a separate ticket will be required for Monday’s second session. It will begin at 4:30 with No. 2 St. Georges against Our Saviour Lutheran of Bronx, N.Y., followed by 10th-ranked Salesianum taking on Downingtown East (Pa.) at 5:45.
All of the action will be at Concord High’s small gym, which often sells out, especially for the Monday sessions. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children per session, and proceeds benefit Coaches vs. Cancer and Concord’s boys basketball program.
Milestone for Jones
Hodgson girls basketball coach Chris Jones reached 200 career victories last Thursday when the Silver Eagles downed Glasgow 62-28.
“I’ve been blessed for 12 years with girls who are willing to listen to me and learn how to play the game of basketball,” said Jones, who has compiled a 200-62 record, all at Hodgson. “I’m really humbled by it.”
The Silver Eagles are exceptionally young this year, with three freshmen – Ja-naiah Perkins-Jackson and twin sisters Kayla and Korryn Braxton-Young – in the starting lineup. But eighth-ranked Hodgson (6-1) has won six straight since losing its season opener to No. 7 Caesar Rodney.
“We’re coming along pretty well,” Jones said. “It’s a process. We have seven freshmen on varsity, and three of them are starting. They’re learning a lot, and I’m asking a lot of them.”
Top-ranked Smyrna, Delaware’s three-time defending DIAA Division I team champion, went 3-2 in the national high school bracket at the prestigious Virginia Duals over the weekend in Hampton, Va.
The Eagles (7-2) started the 16-team tournament with a 33-30 loss to South Plainfield (N.J.). Smyrna rallied to defeat Ocean Lakes (Va.) 67-6, McDonogh (Md.) 45-14 and Independence (W. Va.) 35-27 before falling to Colonial Forge (Va.) 36-20 in the consolation semifinals. Eagles senior Kalen Wilson picked up his 100th career victory during the event.
St. Georges, ranked fourth in Division II, finished fourth to be the top Delaware team in the 20-team Battle of the Bridge tournament at Bohemia Manor in Chesapeake City, Md.
St. Georges’ Nick Novarnik took the title at 120, and the Hawks’ Austin Clayton lost in the final at 182. Middletown’s Luis Estrada defeated St. Georges’ Danny Rankin in the 106 final, and the Cavaliers’ Dante Immediato lost in the 126 final. Appo’s Daniel Blaasch lost in the championship match at 160.
Heating up at Haverford
Padua easily won the girls title at the second N5CTA Winter Series indoor track and field meet on Sunday. The Pandas scored 160 points to leave runner-up Tatnall (72) and Smyrna (71) behind.
Middletown’s Daija Lampkin won the girls 400 meters in 57.60 seconds, the sixth-fastest Delaware time ever. Lampkin also won the 55 meters in 7.16 seconds.
Christina Allen (200 and long jump) was a double winner for Padua. The Pandas also got individual victories from Lydia Olivere (800), Cameron Lucey (55-meter hurdles) and Arryana Daniels (triple jump) and won the 4×400 relay.
Other girls winners were Tatnall’s Keelin Hays (1,600) and Kayla Woods (high jump), Tower Hill’s Isabelle Pilson (3,200) and Smyrna’s Myrissa McFolling-Young (shot put). Middletown won the 4×200 relay, and DMA took the 4×800 relay.
Appoquinimink scored 78 points to win a tight boys team race. Smyrna (78) was second, followed by A.I. du Pont (71), Tatnall (69) and Caravel (62).
Charter of Wilmington’s Roy Lee swept the 200 and 400 meters, and A.I. du Pont’s Tahaire Riley was a double winner in the 55-meter hurdles and high jump.
Other boys individual winners were Tatnall’s Noah McFoy (800) and Michael Flanagan (3,200), DMA’s Brian Poad (55 meters) and Padraig Hahn (1,600), Appo’s Jermaine Chadband (long jump), Smyrna’s Moses Carter (triple jump) and A.I.’s Noah Agwu (shot put).
A.I. du Pont won the boys 4×200 and 4×800 relays, and Appo took the 4×400.
Rounding it up
— Also in indoor track, Salesianum’s Andrew Hally won the invitational 2-mile run at the Hispanic Games at The Armory in New York City by more than seven seconds. His time of 9:19.89 ranks second all-time in Delaware. Charter’s Kevin Murray finished seventh in the invitational mile in 4:19.85 – sixth on the state’s all-time list.
— The Hodgson boys basketball team used an ineligible player in its first five games and has forfeited four victories – against St. Thomas More, Appoquinimink, Howard and Brandywine.
— The Dover boys basketball team has picked up a victory to improve to 6-3, as Slam Dunk to the Beach opponent Friendship Collegiate Academy of Washington, D.C., has forfeited.
Contact Brad Myers at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ