The Tower Hill girls' basketball 9-11 team rolled south to Sussex Central Feb. 27 for an opening round in the DIAA state tournament against higher seed Sussex Central, 16-4. The prize for a win was a road game versus Saint Mark’s Friday, March 1.
Tower Hill battled the favored Golden Knights to a draw in the first quarter with the score tied at 11. "We weren’t playing our game, ” said Central's coach Ron Dukes. "We’re not effective when we don’t play our game.”
The obvious question: ”What is your game, Coach?” to which Dukes replied, "Attack! Attack! Dish off and play pressure defense! We are young and play better when the game is fast. We’re not good at standing around.”
Central ran a crooked number at the Hillers in the second period, outscoring them 23-0 to lead at halftime 34-11. The game became throttle up, then throttle down as Central coasted to a 59-38 victory.
"We lost at Saint Mark’s earlier in the season [Jan. 9, 50-44] because we stood around in the first half and didn’t play our game,” said sophomore Taylor Pritchett. “Their gym looks longer than any I’ve ever seen. In the second half we played really well.” A look back reveals that Central went into attack mode in the second half of that game and outscored the Spartans 31-18 but couldn’t get all the way back.
The Golden Knights had four players in double figures in the Feb. 27 win: Jasmine Hudson 16, Shamirea Sheppard 15, Taylor Pritchett 13 and Jada Smack 10.
Tower Hill was paced by Jenna Chodos 13, Sophie McCoy 11 and Meghan Cobb 8.
The Hillers team features accomplished players from other sports like point guard Jenna Chodas, an all-state performer in field hockey and lacrosse and captain of all three sports; and 6-foot-2-inch Sophie McCoy, a volleyball player and all-state lacrosse athlete who will lace them up at North Carolina next year.
"The first two years [at Tower Hill], all students have to play a sport all three seasons,” Chodos said after the game. “Junior and senior years it’s only two sports. Basketball is a long season, but it’s good for team building.“
Baselines: Elena Delledonne attended Tower Hill up through the seventh grade, then transferred to Ursuline. Five years ago, Central won a home game in the tournament with Kelly Whaley at point guard. Sussex Tech was an upset winner over Padua in the Feb. 27 first-round game and will play Smyrna at 7 p.m., Friday, March 1.