The lug nuts were loosening the entire game, and when Cape went to overtime against Dover, the wheels finally came off the wagon. The Vikings were outscored 12-3 in four minutes of rubber time, losing 69-60 and dropping to 7-4 on the season.
The mysteriously disciplined and well-coached underachieving Senators improved to 4-5 on the season. On Jan. 8, Dover lost at Milford 85-50, which falls into the inexplicable category.
The Tuesday night home contest for Cape was the last in the first-round rotation through the Henlopen Northern Division and the Vikings were 5-0 and everyone else had at least two losses. A stranglehold on a championship turned into a self-inflicted chokehold, as the Vikings tapped out with a negative triple double in missed free throws 5-16, turnovers and air balls.
“We are an immature basketball team; at times our kids think they are better than they are, forgetting that hard work got them a winning record or lead in a ball game, and you saw that tonight,” a disappointed coach Steve Re said after the game. “And with all that, T.T. Hazzard had the best game of his high school career [15 points], going off to keep us in position to win.”
The game was as odd as a cod to rock, a local nautical term, with the Vikings setting a school record with 10 three-point baskets, highlighted by five from Tyreik Burton. Tyler Myers of Dover drained four from way downtown, then flashed three fingers into Cape’s student section.
Cape surged in from 57-53 when Gekwan dropped a three pointer with 1:11 left to play.
Cape seemingly had the game in hand when Jon Warren snagged a rebound, but before the entire gym could scream “time out” he was surrounded and stripped of the basketball, and Dover’s “Peace Train” Antwon Peace went to the line and dropped both ends of a 1-and-1 as Dover closed 57-55.
Warren was fouled with 23 seconds left, missed the front end of 1-1, and Dover rebounded, came across midcourt and called time with 14 seconds remaining, trailing by a bucket.
“Let’s just say it was a set play with four options that we practice every day for just such situations," Dover coach Steve Wilson said. The side out of bounds at midcourt resulted in a back-door, wide-open layup that tied the game with 3.7 seconds left.
Cape had one more chance to win in regulation, as a Hazzard baseball pass found Warren, whose contested jump shot at the foul line rolled around and out.
The overtime was owned by the Senators 12-3 and ended in a family feud with 4 seconds remaining, as relatives in funny hats ran onto the court in a tempers-are-testy situation.
Dover will host Sussex Tech Thursday, Jan. 17, while Cape plays at Smyrna. Game time is 7:15.
Cape was paced in scoring by Tyreik Burton 16, T.T. Hazzard 15 and Toney Floyd 13.
Senators scoring in double figures were Keith Rollerson 20, Tyler Myers 14, Shekiem Yarbray 12 and Antwon Peace 11.