The Sussex Tech boys’ basketball team emphatically snapped its seven-game losing streak to Cape Henlopen when the archrivals squared off Jan. 2 in Lewes, as the Ravens took a 28-point lead into the locker room at halftime and cruised to a 69-54 win.
Junior swingman Devon Reynolds scored a game-high 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and collected four steals for Sussex Tech, which exorcised four years of demons with a 45-17 first-half blitzkrieg and led by as many as 30 points in the third frame. The Ravens overwhelmed the Vikings from the opening tap with their quick, physical defense, going up 11-3 in the first four minutes and 21-8 after one frame. Tech piled it on in the second, closing the quarter with a 20-4 run that drained the life out of The Big House.
Cape’s nightmare first half saw the Vikings hit just five of 20 shots from the floor (25 percent) and cough up 15 turnovers.
Head coach Steve Re was frustrated by his team’s lack of energy and discipline in the early going.
“The team that came out in the first half was not the team I’ve been coaching this season,” Re said. “Just showing up and not putting in the work is not acceptable, and that was the first half tonight. It’s like they expected a certain result without having to go out and earn it.”
Cape looked like a different team after intermission, mounting a late charge on the strength of its perimeter shooting and pulling to within 12 points late in the fourth quarter.
“We definitely did get up off the mat in the second half,” Re said of his Vikings, who took better care of the ball and went 8-for-17 from long range after the break. “We did some really nice things.”
The Ravens (5-3, 3-2 Henlopen North) got 18 points, seven boards and seven assists from junior point guard Skylar Johnson, who started for an 18-4 Cape squad last year before transferring during the off-season.
Sophomore forward Ethan Pires poured in a career-high 18 points, pulled down nine rebounds and swatted four shots for the Vikings. Pires connected on three of his four three-point tries and has gone a Curry-esque 15-for-30 from downtown this season.
Cape also got a career-best 15 points and four threes from sophomore guard Ja’Vaughn Burton, while junior guard Kris Rushin stuffed the scorebook with 12 points, seven boards and six assists. Junior sharpshooter Collin Mallet delivered a breakout performance off the bench, hitting three long-balls on the way to a career-high nine points.
Cape (3-4, 2-2 Henlopen North) has suffered three straight losses for the first time since a four-game skid in December 2015.
The Vikings return to action Friday, Jan. 4, when they host Sussex Central.