Caesar Rodney did themselves a solid when they brought back Freeman Williams as head coach of the boys' basketball team.
“The guy can coach, they did a solid job not allowing us to get the ball into certain areas of the court," said coach Steven Re after Cape helped itself lose an overtime game to the Riders 63-55.
“We messed up a lot of transition opportunities and lost several loose balls," Re said. "Free throws and lack of execution toward the end of the game sealed the deal.”
Cape slogged in cement sneakers the entire game, but when Tyreik Burton hit a three-pointer, the Vikings led by four with just 1:49 left to play.
The Riders came down, worked the ball around, took a three-pointer and missed. Cape had the rebounded ball and a four-point cushion approaching a minute left to play.
Five seconds and five points later, the Riders led by one after a stripped ball and layup followed by a free throw and an inbounds pass stolen and converted.
Cape trailed 53-51 with seven seconds left, but a baseball pass from David Kwan to Jon Warren followed by an off-balance shot sent Warren to the free-throw line, where the senior calmly converted two to tie the game at 53 and send it to overtime.
The four-minute overtime saw the Vikings outscored 10-2. Cape missed an incredible six free throws in overtime.
“We didn't play through mistakes very well tonight, and it cost us," Re said. “We have to refocus and get ready for a battle every night. It's not going to get easier; we have to get better.”
Cape was led in scoring by Jon Warren with 20 and Tyreik Burton with 16. The Riders were paced by Collin Moore's 25 and James Palmer's 11.
Cape falls to 5-4 overall with one loss in the Henlopen Conference Northern Division. Caesar Rodney is 7-1 overall with a loss to Polytech in the Northern Division.
Sussex Tech also has one Northern Division loss to Cape Henlopen.
The top three Northern Division teams still control their own destinies, but only one of them will get to the championship game in February.
Cape plays Indian River at home Tuesday, Jan. 14, followed by road games at Dover Jan. 16 and Concord Jan. 18.
Indian River is 2-3 but a dangerous team that scores a lot of points; the Indians lost to Seaford 107-98.