With a balanced attack and stingy defense, the Cape Henlopen girls' basketball team kicked off the 2013-14 season with a dominant 48-28 win over visiting Sussex Tech.
It was the Vikings' first opening game win since the 2010-11 season, and only the second in the past six seasons.
"Our goal was to come out and play tough defense and do a better job of passing the ball," said coach Lamont Hazzard. "We've had a lot of issues with unforced turnovers, but we did a good job with that tonight."
The Cape defense was stiff from the opening tip, holding the Ravens scoreless through the first half of the first quarter to build a 9-0 lead with four minutes left. The Ravens cut the lead to 9-6 quickly, but the Vikings rebounded with a run of their own to build a 19-13 halftime lead.
Despite the lead, Hazzard said his team was struggling offensively in the first half.
"We couldn't shoot the ball into the ocean, but we played good defense," he said. "Then we started making some shots. I wish we were hitting them all game, then we could've opened the game up early."
Seven different Vikings scored in the game, including a game-high 14 points from senior forward Elizabeth Sutton and 12 points from sophomore Alison Palmer. Freshman Cailey Thornburg drained two second-half three-pointers for six points.
Thornburg, 6-foot-2 freshman Abigail E'Nama and junior varsity call-up Anshe Boyer are among the new faces for the Vikings this season. They will all help fill the voids left by Kadijah Doughty and Madi Smith. Doughty graduated last spring and Smith, a transfer last year, was lost to an ACL injury.
"We're a better as team than as individuals, and I think the girls are really buying into it," Hazzard said. "They're believing that."
Cape will look to improve to 2-0 Tuesday, Dec. 10, with a game against Smyrna at 7:15 p.m. The Eagles won their season opener 57-48 over Caesar Rodney. The Vikings then travel to Milford Thursday, Dec. 12, for a contest against the Bucs, who also won their first game.
Tech hosts Dover at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 10. The Senators lost 61-15 to Ursuline Academy to open the season.