Courtside View – Girls basketball first round playoff preview

Jason WinchellHeadlines, Sports

Saint Marks Sophia Baffone attempts a three point shot against Conrad, photo courtesy of Nick Halliday

The first round of the girls state basketball tournament kicks off tonight.  The eight first round games all tip off at 7 pm as we get the 2024 tournament started.  Here is a look of the eight games,


No. 24 Smyrna (13-7) at No. 9 Archmere (12-8).  The Auks have had a challenging schedule this year and it will be a tough matchup for them tonight when they host the Eagles.  The Auks have averaged 47 points offensively while only giving up 36 points a game.  The Eagles came in after beating conference rival Dover 53-50 last Monday.  They average 57 points a game while only giving up 39 points a game. The winner will play at No. 8 Appoquinimink (12-8) on Friday night.


No.23 Wilmington Charter (11-9) at No.10 Dover (16-4l  The Force had one of the toughest schedules in state including playing No. 1 seed Caravel in the last few weeks.  They only score 42 points a game while giving up 34.  The Senators were the Henlopen champion this year ending the Cape Henlopen run.  They average 56 points a game while only giving up 38 points a game/  Can the Force pull off the road win tonight or will Senators advance to meet No. 7 Delmarva Christian (18-) on Friday night.


No. 22 Early College (ECHS) (14-5) at No. 11 Woodbridge (16-4)  The Blue Raiders and ECHS both are Henlopen South members and will meet for the third time this season tonight The Blue Raiders won 66-38 on the road on January 18th.  They also won at home 60-42 on February 15th.  The Blue Raiders had another 15+ win season and looks to sweep ECHS tonight and head to  No. 6 Sanford (14-5) on Friday.


No. 21 Friends (12-8) at No. 12 Seaford (14-6)   These two teams played in the championship game of the Quaker Classic on January 6th.  The Quakers won 57-49 behind 7 three pointers as a team.  The Blue Jays hit 6 three pointers in that loss and have won 10 straight heading into tonight’s game. The winner travels to No. 5 AI DuPont (15-5)  on Friday night.


No. 20 Hodgson (14-6) at No.13 Howard (14-5)   The Silver Eagles returned to Blue Hen Conference Flight B this year and their rivalry game with Howard was now a big conference game early in the season.  Howard won 42-34 on December 13th at home and will host the Silver Eagles again tonight/  The Silver Eagles have won 6 of the last 8 with one of those losses to Padua.  The Wildcats have also won 6 of their last 8.The winner will play at No. 4 Padua (16-4) on Friday night.


No. 19 Conrad (15-5) at No. 14 DMA (13-7)  These two Diamond state conference members meet tonight to see who advances in the tournament   The Seahawks  won the first meeting 58-35 on the road on February 15th.  The Seahawks have won 6 of their last 8 games.  The Red Wolves have won 3 straight since the loss to the Seahawks.  Which conference foe will head to No. 3 St Elizabeth’s (17-3) on Friday night.


No. 18 Cape Henlopen (14-6) at No. 15 Saint Mark’s (12-8)   These teams meet in a rematch from last years second round game won by Cape.  The Spartans got off to a hot start but a tough schedule coming down the stretch.  The Vikings had another solid season and finished right behind Dover in the Henlopen North.  Which team will get the win  and punch their ticket to face No. 2 Ursuline (14-6) on Friday.

No. 17 Lake Forest (13-7) at No. 16 Odessa (15-5)  The Ducks first year with seniors was very successful as they won 15 games including the last 5 in a row.  They average 48 points a game while giving up 41 points a game.  The Spartans have lost 5 of their last 7 after a 11-2 start to the season.  They average 42 points while only giving up 36 points a game. The winner will travel to No. 1 Caravel (16-3) on Friday

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