It hasn't been an easy season for the Cape girls' basketball team and coach Lamont Hazzard, and it didn't get any easier Jan. 29 against Caesar Rodney. After winning their second game of the season against Polytech last week, the Vikings were on the verge of earning their second straight win against the visiting Riders, but it all came unraveled in the final minutes as they fell 62-53 in overtime.
"This would've been a big win," said Hazzard. "When we played Polytech the other day we were playing well, so we felt real good about winning this ball game."
Trailing by as many as 10 points in the third quarter, Cape battled back in the fourth to take the lead with just over three minutes left in the game. Junior Jasmine Johnson nailed a three-pointer with 4:51 left to tie the game and then another game-tying basket with 3:31 remaining. Johnson's hot hand gave the Vikings the lead shortly after when she hit another shot from beyond the arc to give Cape its first lead since the beginning of the second quarter.
But the Riders showed resiliency. With 29.9 seconds left, CR hit a three to cut the deficit to one point. A turnover on the ensuing inbound resulted in a Cape foul, putting CR's Shakyra Cephas on the line for two free throws. The Riders' junior hit the first, but missed the second to leave the game tied at 47-47, which it remained until the end of regulation.
"At the end of the game, we just didn't handle our business," Hazzard said. "We made some mental mistakes, and it cost us."
Overtime was all CR, as the Riders outscored the Vikings 15-6 to deal Cape its 10th loss of the season. The Riders improved to 7-6 with the win; their only loss in the Henlopen Conference came against Smyrna.
"They forced two turnovers [early in OT] and it seems like it was hard for us to recover after that," Hazzard said. "Those turnovers took a lot out of everybody."
Senior Kadijah Doughty led the way with 22 points. Johnson's big-time play resulted in 12 points, while freshman Madison Smith added seven points.