Sharpe, Newark breeze past Cape in DIAA opener

Sharpe, Newark breeze past Cape in DIAA opener

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Sharpe, Newark breeze past Cape in DIAA opener

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Newark's Michael Sharpe drives for the basket past Cape Henlopen's J.R. Yeates during first-round action of the Boys DIAA Basketball Tournament on Wednesday.

Newark’s Michael Sharpe drives for the basket past Cape Henlopen’s J.R. Yeates during first-round action of the Boys DIAA Basketball Tournament on Wednesday.

Capes Jerry Harden and Ian Robertson along with Newarks Rahmee Carter fight for the ball as Newark HS (black) and Cape Henlopen HS (white) varsity boys played in the 1st Round of the Boys DIAA Basketball Tournament at Cape Henlopen HS near Lewes on Wednesday March 2nd.

Capes Jerry Harden and Ian Robertson along with Newarks Rahmee Carter fight for the ball as Newark HS (black) and Cape Henlopen HS (white) varsity boys played in the 1st Round of the Boys DIAA Basketball Tournament at Cape Henlopen HS near Lewes on Wednesday March 2nd.

Cape's Demetrius Price passes the ball behind his back as Newark's Nick Zegna defends during first-round action of the Boys DIAA Basketball Tournament on Wednesday.

Cape’s Demetrius Price passes the ball behind his back as Newark’s Nick Zegna defends during first-round action of the Boys DIAA Basketball Tournament on Wednesday.

Newark's Brendan Sherman grabs a rebound during first-round action of the Boys DIAA Basketball Tournament on Wednesday.

Newark’s Brendan Sherman grabs a rebound during first-round action of the Boys DIAA Basketball Tournament on Wednesday.

Cape's Ian Robertson goes for a basket as Newark's Eric Marshall and Michael Sharpe defends during first-round action of the Boys DIAA Basketball Tournament on Wednesday.

Cape’s Ian Robertson goes for a basket as Newark’s Eric Marshall and Michael Sharpe defends during first-round action of the Boys DIAA Basketball Tournament on Wednesday.

LEWES – It didn’t matter if a hand was in his face, his jersey was being tugged or if he was double teamed because Newark’s sophomore guard Michael Sharpe wasn’t going to be denied Wednesday night.

Sharpe drained five 3-pointers with countless defenders face-guarding him en route to 30 points and a 57-42 win for the No. 20 Yellowjackets against No. 13 Cape Henlopen in Lewes.

“The court just felt open tonight,” Sharpe said. “I was feeling it tonight. When I feel it, nobody can stop me. I love it when I feel it like that. If I feel like that, we can go a long way.”

Sharpe had 14 of Newark’s 28 first-half points as the Yellowjackets built a 28-22 lead.

The Vikings were hanging around thanks to sophomore forward Ian Robertson’s 12 points in the first half.

Cape seemed to grab momentum at the start of the third quarter, going on a 6-2 run with three straight buckets.

Sharpe stamped it out. With Cape senior Demetrius Price glued to his hip, Sharpe knocked down a 3-pointer at the top of the key with Price’s hand in his face to bump out Newark’s lead to 33-28.

“I tell him whenever his jump shot is on, I don’t think there is too many guards in the state that’s kind of comparable outside of Mikey (Dixon) and Raheim (Burnett),” Newark coach Shannon McCants said. “Once he’s on like that, it’s really hard to stop him.”

As Cape struggled to shoot the ball, its defense kept them around in the game with a balance between zone and pressure man-to-man.

But there was no answer for Sharpe, who hit another 3-pointer as part of Newark’s 9-1 run in the late stage of the third quarter, giving them a 39-32 lead after three.

“When a kid like that gets on and you’re not countering on one end, you know, we sure didn’t counter tonight,” Cape coach Stephen Re said. “We missed all kinds of free throws and wide-open looks.”

Sharpe added 10 more in the fourth quarter, and Cape hit just two field goals as its pressure defense couldn’t bail them out. Cape also was a dismal 8 of 19 from the free-throw line, and Robertson didn’t score in the second half.

The Yellowjackets head back north for their next game against division foe No. 4 Mt. Pleasant (16-3).

McCants said they know the team well, but will need to take care of the ball better and hope Sharpe stays hot.

“They’re a really good team, but we’re coming in as a No. 20 seed – we have nothing to lose,” McCants said. “These guys are playing really loose, and we have some really good talent on our team.”

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Sharpe, Newark breeze past Cape in DIAA opener
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