The Cape boys' basketball team “humped and bumped” over four quarters against a much-improved Caesar Rodney squad on the road on Jan. 29 and were happy to escape Camden Wyoming with a 66-61 victory.
The win moved Cape to 8-5 on the season while an athletic, underachieving Riders team fell to 5-11.
"The huge deal is we got state tournament points and improved to 6-1 in the Henlopen North," coach Steve Re said. “We’re moving into February leading the Henlopen North, so I’ll take that. Seven games left and all huge, can’t ask for more than that," he added.
"This was our best game of the season in terms of effort,” Re said in the locker room after the game. “We have to learn to deal with adversity during a game and to keep battling. I expect a lot out of these kids, but I’m sure they know I’m on their side.”
The Riders were lighting it up in the first quarter, hitting three 3-point shots, and led 13-3 midway through the period. A basket by T.T. Hazzard and a trifecta from Gekwan Pritchett held Cape close, trailing 17-11 at the end of the first quarter.
The Vikings ran a crooked number at the Riders in the second period, outscoring them 18-7, including 10 unanswered points to close out the half leading 29-24.
E.J. Fountain, Cape’s catalyst off the bench, led the second-quarter surge, helped by Toney Floyd’s seven-point quarter.
“We weathered the storm, didn’t play all that well and led by five at halftime,” Re said. “But I knew it would be a four-quarter battle; it seems all our games go that way.”
Cape had a 21-point third quarter to lead by seven entering the final frame. But with the Vikings leading by 10 at 56-46 after a drive by Tyreik Burton with five minutes left to play, the Riders began a relentless comeback. Cape appeared to back off and take air out of the basketball.
“It wasn’t really a delay,” Re said. “We were rushing shots and forcing the ball. I just wanted to back it off and spread the floor.”
The Riders were down 60-51 with 2:40 to play. Brendyn Moore, 6-foot-3, 300 pounds who made number 50 look like a little number, missed no opportunities on the inside, while Antwan Miller and Colin Moore lit it up from outside, and with 22 seconds remaining the Riders were just about back, trailing 63-61.
Free throws by Hazzard and Andrew Grau iced the 66-61 victory.
The Riders were paced by Antwan Miller 16, Colin Moore 15 and Brendyn Moore 9.
Cape was led by Tyreik Burton 16, Jon Warren 15, E.J. Fountain 12 and Toney Floyd 10.
The Vikings were scheduled to play at Seaford Jan. 31, before road games at Dover Tuesday, Feb. 5 and Smyrna Saturday, Feb. 9.