Milford scored the last nine points of the game – seven in a 22-second span – to earn a 53-49 defeat of visiting Cape Henlopen in boys’ basketball action Feb. 11, the Vikings’ fifth consecutive loss.
With the Vikings up 49-44 and seemingly in control late in the fourth quarter, freshman guard Drew Zimmerman was whistled for a technical foul for grabbing the net after a common foul on another player. The Buccaneers converted all four of their free throws and got the ball trailing by a point. Senior guard Jaedon Wright then splashed in a straightaway three-pointer, putting Milford in front 51-49 with 26 seconds on the clock. Cape had a chance to answer in the final seconds, but Nate Sivels’ cross-court lob to Kris Rushin was intercepted by Ethan Wilkins, who salted the game away with a pair of free throws.
Head coach Shemik Thompson struggled to explain how his team could let a five-point lead slip away in the final minute.
“I’m disappointed,” Thompson said. “We have a lead with two minutes left, and our next three shots are three-pointers off one pass or less. That’s been our issue all year long: our ability to execute down the stretch. With two minutes left in the game, our execution from that point forward was terrible. We work on these things in practice, and that’s the frustrating part. We’ve got two games left in the season and we’re still having these issues.”
Wright and senior guard Lamonte Isabell finished with 13 points apiece for the Bucs (4-12, 3-10 Henlopen North), who won for the third time in five games and recorded their first victory over the Vikings since December 2016.
Cape (5-12, 4-9 Henlopen North) got 19 points from junior guard Ja’Vaughn Burton and nine from Rushin.
Early on, the Vikings looked determined to spoil Milford’s Senior Night. They raced to a 14-4 lead in the first six minutes behind seven quick points from Burton, scoring almost at will. The Buccaneers turned the tide with a 23-4 run of their own, going up 27-18 when Isabell hit a short jumper early in the third quarter.
Cape closed the gap to three points heading into the final frame and opened the fourth with a 12-2 spurt, going up 47-40 on a three-ball from senior guard Collin Mallet with 3:17 remaining. Mallet’s shot looked like a dagger, but the Vikings wouldn’t hit another field goal the rest of the way
Cape continued to struggle with its shot, connecting on just 35 percent of its field goal tries and going 3-for-15 from deep. The Vikings have been held below 40 percent from the floor in 12 of their 17 games.
Wilkins, just a freshman, came off the bench to score 10 points for Milford, which also got 10 from senior swingman Jarvis Jarvis.
Sivels, Mallet, and senior wing Sh’Kai Chandler added five points each for Cape.
The Vikings host Sussex Central on Thursday, Feb. 13.