Seaford pulls away late to capture Henlopen-South Title

Glenn FrazerHeadlines, Sports

Seaford Boys basketball team standing for the National Anthem, photo by Ben Fulton


The second ranked Seaford Blue Jays made 5 of 7 three point shots to start the game and took a 20-12 first quarter lead they would never relinquish in an 89-76 win Tuesday night.

The win secured the Henlopen South title for the third straight season as the Blue Jays improved to 19-1 (14-0 in the South) heading into Saturday’s conference championship contest against the North Division winner, Polytech.

The script was almost identical to the Seaford win at Laurel in January when the Blue Jays jumped out to an early lead then played evenly with Laurel the rest of the game to win by five. In Tuesday’s rematch, Laurel trimmed the Blue Jays lead to 7 at the half. Corey Mumford paced Laurel with 12 points in the opening half constantly gaining great position in the lane for easy baskets. Every time Laurel made a run, Seaford would respond. Late in the 3rd quarter, Laurel’s Dontarius Jones had a dunk rim out, then the Blue Jays pushed the ball down the floor to Brent Ricketts on the baseline and he made a “one hand” slam to ignite the crowd and give the Jays a 10 point lead.

Akendre Matthews then drained a long range jumper from the right wing and the lead ballooned to 13. That caused Laurel coach Kevin Walmsley to call a timeout to settle his team. His players responded to cut the Blue Jays advantage to 7 points going into the final 8:00 of the game. 

Dontarius Jones made a layup off a Seaford turnover and the deficit was 5 points early in the 4th quarter. Later, Joel Parker “dished” to Mumford for a “bucket-and-one” opportunity which he made and the Bulldogs were down 61-59 with 5:45 left. It would be as close as Laurel would get as Seaford out scored them 28-17 down the stretch for the win.

Coach Vince Evans told us after the game, “We talked about pushing the pace of the game and it’s all about we, not I, or individual scoring and the guys bought into it.” He was responding to having six players in double figures as part of an extremely balanced offense. When asked about his team’s hot shooting from the outside early, the coach remarked “Sometimes that’s a curse for us. We start hitting those shots then tend to settle for those later in the game. They (Laurel) made a nice run against us when we stopped hitting those shots.” Seaford made 9 long range shots as a team.

Seaford had six players in double figures led by Ricketts with 23 including three-3’s and two thunderous dunks plus 10 rebounds. Careen Bolden poured in 17, Kash Wise added 16, Makel Hubbard scored 12, and Aviyon Matthews had another double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while his brother Akendre scored 10 points. The Blue Jays will take a 13-game win streak into the Henlopen Conference championship game against Polytech Saturday afternoon in Dover. The Blue Jays will likely garner one of the top eight seeds when the DIAA pairings come out Friday.

Laurel had four players score in double figures with Jones scoring 22 points, Mumford added 23 and Kylse Wilson had 13, while Joel Parker contributed with 11 points. The Bulldogs improved at the free throw line converting 18/29 good for 62%. In the January loss to Seaford they were 40% at the line. Coach Kevin Walmsley and his team will now await the bracket reveal Friday to see when and where they will play in the DIAA tournament that begins on the 28th. They finished the regular season 12-2 in the Southern Division and 15-5 overall.

These two put forth an awesome effort and will both be dangerous competition for any opposing team in the playoffs.

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