The Cape Henlopen basketball team continued its late-season swoon with an 80-32 defeat at the hands of a white-hot Smyrna squad Feb. 6 in Lewes.
The Eagles made an absurd 10 of 11 three-point tries in the first half, when they shot 70 percent from the floor and raced to a 53-19 lead at intermission. Senior guard Nah’Shon Sylvester literally couldn’t miss early on, converting all six of his field-goal tries and going 4-for-4 from long range before the break. Sylvester finished with game highs of 18 points and eight rebounds for Smyrna (13-4, 10-2 Henlopen North), while senior guard Brandon Smith added 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting.
The Eagles raced out to a 10-0 lead and never trailed thereafter, widening the gap to 32-9 when senior guard Davaughn Stanford capped a 15-0 run with a three-pointer on the first play of the second quarter. Smyrna hit 13 of its first 16 shots from the floor and knocked down its first six attempts from beyond the arc, silencing a sparse Cape crowd with its ruthless efficiency.
The Eagles led by as many as 50 points in the game’s waning moments.
The Vikings struggled mightily with Smyrna’s length and quickness on the perimeter. They shot a season-low 25 percent from the floor, including a ghastly 1-for-23 (4 percent) from three-point range. Cape’s 32 points were its fewest since a 31-point night against Sanford in December 2018.
Senior forward Sh’Kai Chandler and junior guard Ja’Vaughn Burton paced the Vikings (5-10, 4-8 Henlopen North) with eight points apiece, while senior guard Kris Rushin added seven.
Junior off-guard Robert Wiley came off the bench to score 14 points for the Eagles, who also got 12 points and four assists from junior guard Elijah Credle.
Smyrna canned 12 of its 18 three-point tries (67 percent) and out-rebounded Cape 36-22.
Head coach Shemik Thompson, visibly deflated in defeat, struggled to come to terms with the Vikings' second straight blowout loss.
“We didn’t play with any passion,” Thompson said. “[We] didn’t play with any heart – no desire to win. When you don’t practice hard, that’s what happens. We can’t seem to execute anything at the moment. When we do, it works for us, but we can’t seem to stick with it. We can’t seem to stay focused and committed to playing basketball on the defensive end right now. It’s an effort thing.”
Cape will look to snap its three-game losing streak when it faces Appoquinimink Saturday, Feb. 8. The game, part of the SL24 Classic, will tip off at 2:30 p.m. at the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington.
Lady Vikings keep winning
The Cape girls’ basketball team won its 12th straight game Feb. 6, with a 60-point smackdown of Smyrna. The Vikings outscored the Eagles 29-7 in the first quarter and 26-5 in the second quarter to build a 43-point halftime lead. Cape continued with an 18-2 third quarter before backing off in the fourth period to secure a 79-19 win.
Seniors Dania Cannon and Abbey Hearn led the way for Cape scoring 32 and 23 points, respectively. Cannon added eight assists, five rebounds and four steals, while Hearn collected seven rebounds and three assists. Mehkia Applewhite tallied 15 points, including three three-pointers, to go along with 13 rebounds, eight assists and seven steals.
Cape will be back in action Tuesday, Feb. 11, when they host Milford for Senior Night. The Vikings will conclude the regular season with a game at Sussex Central Thursday, Feb. 13.