The Sussex Tech basketball team’s Cinderella season came to an abrupt finish March 3, with a 74-53 loss to Smyrna in the quarterfinals of the DIAA State Tournament at the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center.
The Ravens hit the first three points of the game, but fell behind quickly as the Eagles could do no wrong in the first quarter, jumping out to a 20-6 lead. The Eagles were flying high, hitting nearly 80 percent from the field in the second quarter and taking a 45-14 score into the halftime beak.
The Eagles cooled off in the second half, and the Ravens clawed back to outscore Smyrna 39-29, but could not overcome the damage of the 45-point first half.
Ravens head coach Damon Ayers was down but not out as he spoke about his team and how pleased he was with their season.
“It’s been very rewarding for our guys,” said Ayers. “They put a lot of time in the off-season, and it’s really paid dividends for them. I don’t think that many people expected them to be where we are tonight, and so it’s a testament to their hard work and the time and the energy that they have put in. I’m sad to see it end this way, but at the end of the day, I’m really proud of them.”
Ravens guard Jaquan Burton led the Ravens with 17 points. Ricky Kane and Devon Reynolds each tallied eight.
“We were probably just caught up in the thrill of just being here,” Ayers said. “It proves to understanding the dynamics of why you really are here and what is at stake. I have to take my hat off to Smyrna. It’s a heck of a season for them as well, and to our guys for putting the effort and time to be here as well. This is something for us to build on.”
Caleb Matthews scored 30 for the Eagles, who will face Sanford in the semifinals Thursday, March 8. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.