The Caravel Buccaneers girls’ basketball team came into Monday night’s quarterfinals as the #1 seed in the DIAA Girls’ Basketball Tournament. Led by reigning Delaware Player of the Year, India Johnston, the Buccaneers were heavily favored heading into their matchup with the ninth-seeded Woodbridge.
They had met earlier in the year, and Caravel won by 24 points on their home floor behind 21 points by Johnston. However, this game would prove to be much different.
The Blue Raiders played with energy from the jump & made life very difficult on the Buccaneer offense. The first half saw Caravel have a ton of opportunities at the rim but unable to finish. The Buccaneers would lead 21-16 at the break.
The second half would continue to be played tightly, although Caravel would build a 12 point lead, Woodbridge would close the third quarter on a run to cut the lead down to six-points heading in the fourth quarter, 33-27.
The fourth quarter was the microcosm of the game. Caravel would slightly extend their lead to 8 points before Woodbridge would go on yet another run, led by Payton Keeler, who would hit from 3 and get to the rim, on her way to 21 points. With about 4 and a half minutes left in this game, it was only a two-point lead for Caravel at 37-35.
This is where Caravel’s poise & experience took over. They would close on a 13-5 run, with buckets by Johnston & Giniah Gale, and some free throws down the stretch as well. The final 4 minutes saw Woodbridge get a little too sped up & sloppy play would doom them down the stretch, but not after giving the top seed a heck of a game.
Coach Isaiah Robinson & the whole Woodbridge community should be proud of the performance this group put out there, despite the 50-40 loss. Caravel was on the ropes in this one after dominating the first matchup early in the season.
Caravel moves on to the Semifinal round at the Bob Carpenter Center to take on another feel-good story this season, 5th seeded Tatnall. This game will be Thursday, March 10th, time to be determined.
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