Middletown-The Middletown Cavaliers honored its 10 senior basketball players before Saturday’s final home game, and then those seniors excelled on the court in a 91-66 win.
All ten of those seniors played and eight of them scored as the top-ranked Cavs broke open a close contest with an offensive barrage in the final quarter, out scoring Caravel 30-13.
Jayden Rogers paced Middletown in the opening eight minutes as he hit three long range shots and poured in 11 of his game total of 18 in that period. In the second quarter his teammate Amir Cunningham nailed three consecutive shots beyond the arc to also score 11 points. His last deep shot from the right wing gave the Cavs a 34-23 lead, the largest of the first half. Caravel point guard Dom Wyatt committed his 3rd personal foul and sat out the rest of the half with the Bucs trailing. However, John Clemmons converted a couple of free throws and a shot from “downtown” to go along with Trevor Webster’s three point make and a “fast break” basket by Zane Bohn as part of a 10-2 run that closed the gap to 36-33. Middletown responded with a Marcus Edmond 3-point jumper to spark the Cavs to a 7-point lead at the half.
The two teams played an even third quarter (Middletown 17-16 advantage) to set up the final 8:00 with the Cavaliers ahead 61-53.
The Cavs would open the 4th quarter on an 8-2 run to push the lead to 14 with under six minutes to go. From that point on, the half court defense forced a few breakaway points as Middletown was releasing players down the floor and either converting, or drawing contact and scoring from the line.
Middletown converted 27 of 34 foul shots (79%) for the game. Caravel (a very good free-throw shooting team as well), managed to make 7 of 11 from the line. The teams combined to make 17 three point shots (Middletown-10) as Rogers was game-high with 4, Cunningham nailed 3, while Clemmons and Webster each made 3 long range shots for the Bucs. The Buccaneers were led by Clemmons with 23 points. He scored 17 in the Polytech win and 18 against Sanford to give him 58 points in the Bucs three games this week. Also scoring in double figures for Caravel were freshman Webster with 15, and Wyatt with 15.
The Cavaliers received balanced scoring from its seniors as Jaiden McGhee led the way with 24, Cunningham added 19, Rogers scored 18, Amir Hite poured in 12, and Marcus Edmond contributed with 10 points.
Middletown head coach Azeez Ali was asked in the post game interview what his game plan was against Caravel. “We wanted to make them play in the half-court and not let them run up and down the floor. We knew with No. 2 (Clemmons) and No. 3 (Wyatt) they would thrive in transition. If we let that happen, we would be in trouble.” Coach Ali also commented about the seniors picking each other up. “First, it was Jayden (Rogers) that got hot, then it was Amir (Cunningham) and then McGhee took over, and the rest of the team got excited for them.”
With the win Middletown extends its winning streak to 6 games with one more regular season game next Monday at Cape Henlopen. The top ranked Cavs improved to 16-2.
Caravel only suffered its 2nd loss in the last 9 games in a week when they upset No. 3 Polytech and No. 5 Sanford. The Buccaneers fell to 13-6 with a final regular season game with St. E’s, also on Monday.
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