Hard to track the inexact history of Cape basketball
Hard to track the inexact - I am not a tracker of details, but I’m good at remembering sports stuff and jokes. Last Friday night, it was crazy and unusual for 6-foot-5 senior basketball teammates Ian Robertson and Randy Rickards to score their career 1,000th points in the first half of the same game. “We’re brothers in basketball,” Rickards said after the game. There was talk afterward – who else scored 1,000? I came up with Purnell Ayers and John Bishop, and also Tracy Jones Jr. and Tyreik Burton. Forty-nine years of Cape basketball (1970-2018) and only six 1,000-point scorers. That doesn’t sound right, but neither does, “Get your hat and coat and leave!” Editor’s note: Before consolidation, Bill Cordrey for Milton (1966) and Andy Raymond for Rehoboth (1969) each surpassed 1,000 points.
Doppelganger - Hail! Hail! The doppelganger is all here, but not all there. A lookalike or double of a living person is usually seen as a harbinger of bad luck. John Solomon films Cape JV boys’ basketball games because his son, Sam Luciano-Solomon, is a player. John came up to me between games Friday night and started talking about being at the Eagles parade the day before, and just then for the first time I saw it, the Doug Pederson resemblance. “How many people wanted to take selfies with you on Broad Street?” I asked. John said, “About a half dozen. It was easier to go along than trying to convince them I wasn’t Doug Pederson or at least his brother.”
Bishop on the Bench - John Bishop, former Cape great, was on the Sussex Tech basketball bench Feb. 9, assisting Damon Ayers. “Bishop on the bench” doesn’t sound quite right because when he was an athlete, there were never enough good athletes to keep him on any bench in any sport. Before the wheels came off the wagon in the 1975 football season, Bishop was an outside linebacker (NFL size) and ran back punts, begging the question, who was going to tackle him? A big guy with soft hands and breakaway speed, not to mention he was mean. That spring, “Bish” had a fling with my talented track team. I thought he looked like a discus thrower, but I’ll never forget him running an 11.1 100 meters on a choppy track down at J.M. Bennett. Bishop’s nephew Brian Mifflin, a generation later, straight off the baseball team, ran a 10.8 100 meters, looking like Bo Jackson rumbling down the track. Some serious talent runs through Cape, but harnessing it on one team is always the challenge.
Go easy on us - I was there Jan. 30 on a Tuesday night at Cape covering a girls’ basketball game - Cape beat Poly by 27 - when coach Bill Geppert and his swim teams returned from Sussex Academy, having sustained a pair of losses. “Go easy on us,” Gep said. “Half my kids just got back from a band trip, but SAS swam great, so take nothing away from them.” “I may want to take something away from them or make drum fish jokes at your expense,” I joked. “I know it’s always hard to get tagged by a new player on the block.” I was shocked like an electrician installing underwater lights Feb. 11 when I read that the Cape girls won the Henlopen Conference swim meet for the sixth straight year, upsetting Caesar Rodney, Sussex Tech and Sussex Academy – all teams that had beaten them on the dual-meet side during the regular season. A conference meet favors depth of quality – three swimmers per individual event scored through 16 places. It’s a pretty amazing Cape win considering the graduation of Sarah Rambo, Sarah Hyde, Molly Weeks and Amelia Nigh-Johnson. Final girls’ results were: Cape 373, Sussex Tech 370, Caesar Rodney 366 and Sussex Academy 304.
Snippets - The Capital Classic Middle School Basketball Tournament begins this week. There is a tripleheader at Mariner Wednesday, Feb. 14. The Beacon boys play Chipman at 4 p.m., Mariner girls play Smyrna at 5:15 and Mariner boys play Fifer at 6:30. The unbeaten Beacon girls play Woodbridge at Woodbridge at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 15. Championship games will be played at Lake Forest Saturday, Feb. 17 and Sunday, Feb. 18. Check the Cape Gazette on Friday for the weekend schedule. The Henlopen Conference wrestling championships are set for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17 and 18, at Milford Academy. Cape wrestler Anthony Caruso has 98 career wins going into this weekend’s wrestling tournament, while Chris Handlin has 94 career wins and has tied a Cape school record with 66 pins, a record held by Matt Graviet. Freshman Leigh Lingo (Rehoboth-Worcester) got a start for Virginia Tech lacrosse, which lost 11-5 to Southern Cal. The Florida Gators women’s lacrosse team opened the season with a 16-9 home win over Colorado. Former Cape player Eddy Shoop had an assist for Florida. Go on now, git!