The Delmarva Christian girls’ basketball team went into the halftime break trailing 20-18, but the Royals turned on the afterburners in the second half, outscoring the Cavs 40-17, to down Middletown 58-37 in the March 1 opening round of the state tournament in Georgetown.
Royals senior Ainsley Bell led all scorers with 20 points, five rebounds, four assists, five steals and three blocks.
“They weren’t handing our pressure well,” Bell said. “When we went to our press in the second half, it sparked up our energy.”
Junior Mia Elliott had a career night, scoring 18 second-half points to boost the Royals to victory. She finished with a double-double, grabbing 10 rebounds, dishing off two assists, snagging six steals and blocking one shot.
“We just didn’t give up,” Elliott said. “We hustled and played hard. We wanted it.”
Junior Ryley McCluskey hit for nine points, six assists and two steals. Point guard Journey Handy scored six points, seven rebounds and five steals.
“We wanted it more,” Handy said. “They seemed to not handle it well with us coming back like that.”
Josephine Peranteau scored five points, six rebounds and three steals.
“Our reactions weren’t there in the first half,” said Royals coach Jedidiah Roach. “The second half we changed the press, and our reactions and our defensive intensity were better. I told them at half we were in desperate need and we have to get this done. They responded and turned it on, and the floodgate opened. We are going to try to ride the wave of this game and come up with something to compete with Caravel on Friday night.”
The 12th-seeded Royals travel to No. 5 Caravel Friday, March 3, to face the 2022 state champions.