Cape head coach Pat Woods’ varsity basketball team won its third consecutive Henlopen North title Feb. 19, with an 80-13 victory over Sussex Central at home. They move to 12-0 on the season and garnered Woods his 50th win as the Vikings’ head coach.
“He always tells us to be relentless,” said high scorer Morgan Mahoney. “Never let anything affect the next play. Be fearless.”
“He says to stay strong with it,” said junior Julia Saleur. “Stay who we are as a team and play our way.”
Mahoney led all scorers with 27 points, while Saleur added 22. Mahoney grabbed eight rebounds and had four steals, while the “French Connection” had seven rebounds, four steals and three assists. Each hit three three-pointers.
Junior guard Mehkia Applewhite recorded seven points, nine steals and two assists. Post player Destiny Kusen had four points and four steals. Point guard Ella Rishko tallied eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.
The Vikings’ bench contributed 19 points in the game. Mackenzie Vitolo dropped in two threes, Grace Totton hit for four points, Lauryn Head scored five, and Kelly Bragg and Mya Maull added two points each.
“We wanted to win the fourth quarter,” said Vitolo. “People coming off the bench haven’t won it in the last few games, so we wanted to play hard and win it.”
“I was a little nervous,” said Maull, who scored her first varsity points in her first varsity game. “My teammates made me feel comfortable. It makes me feel great to be able to contribute to my team.”
“I adopted the goal to win every quarter,” said Woods. “I spoke to the second string about competing to the best of their ability, making great passes and staying locked in defensively. I thought they played great tonight.
“I spoke with the team about having a predator mind-set – focused on our goals and our purpose and being who we are, rather than looking around and worrying about what everyone else is saying and doing with rankings, social media, etc. It is important for our team to be clear about our identity, our purpose and what we do. Then to be consistent no matter who our opponent, where we are playing, how many fans, what the score is, etc. My message is simple: Be who you are. Don’t worry about anything else. The second half ... is who we are.”
As far as how Woods feels about his 50th win, he said, “I didn’t know that was a thing. It is really a program accomplishment. Our team now, our success has been the product of continuing to work as hard as we can and in the words of former player Lexi Watkins, refusing to let the standards slip. I am happy to be a part of it all.”
Cape was set to travel to Dover Monday, Feb. 22, to face the 6-5 Senators.