(Middletown) The third ranked Middletown Cavaliers outscored Odessa 23-5 in the final quarter to get the intra-district win Tuesday night 63-39 in boys basketball. The Ducks were down by just 6 points as Henry Nyasagare buried a corner “three” late in the third quarter to make the score 40-34 heading to the final 8:00. Middletown turned up the half court defense and controlled that final quarter to gain the Flight A victory.
Odessa opened the game with a quick 5-0 advantage, but the Cavs fought back to grab the lead at 7-5. The two teams traded baskets the rest of the first quarter as Middletown led 12-10. The second quarter was also competitive with the Cavaliers taking a lead of 22-18 into halftime.
The visiting Ducks took their only lead of the second half at 26-24 when Jaylen Bernikow connected twice from beyond the arc on consecutive possessions. The lead was brief as Middletown went on a 14-2 run to go up 38-28 late in the third quarter. The Cavs held a six point advantage at the start of the fourth quarter and built the lead quickly into double digits.
Middletown coach Azeez Ali told us how his team pulled away late. “We stayed the course. We try to get up by two possessions and build on it. We hang our hats on our defense and rebounding, and we controlled the pace. Odessa is good in the open court and we did a good job of keeping them in half court mode.”
The Cavaliers were led by point guard Clyde Frasier and Aviyon Matthews, with 15 points each. Nine different players scored points in the game for coach Ali. They play seven more games in the regular season that ends on the 21st. The Cavaliers will face another district rival Saturday the 10th as they travel across town to face Appoquinimink.
Odessa was paced by Bernikow with ten points, while Jordan Earl and Tyshawn Wilborn both added 9 points. The Ducks are now a very respectable 11-4 under first year head coach Andre Wilburn. They have five games remaining in their quest for a tournament berth. It would be the first in the school’s brief history.
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