Allen’s career night leads Dover against Caesar Rodney

Dover’s Elijah Allen scored two of his 40 points against Caesar Rodney on a reverse layup through contact. Special to the State News/Gary Emeigh

DOVER — Elijah Allen admits it didn’t start out as a very smooth-looking play.

The Dover High guard was bringing the ball up quickly just before the end of the first half but he momentarily lost control of it.

“I lost it and I couldn’t find it,” Allen said with a smile. “Then I looked up at the clock and it said one second so I shot it up.”

Of course, the impromptu shot — from well beyond the three-point line — swished through the net at the buzzer.

“I was kind of surprised,” Allen concluded. “But I was just trying to act like I’ve been there and done that before.”

That’s just the kind of night it was for the Senators’ All-Stater. Everything seemed to go in for Allen as he poured in a career-high 40 points as Dover finally put away rival Caesar Rodney, 93-72, before a big crowd in the Senators’ gym on Tuesday evening.

On a high-scoring night, when six players finished in double figures, Allen had the biggest game of all. He sank 16 of Dover’s 35 field goals, with five three-pointers, as Dover (6-0 Henlopen North, 8-1 overall) stretched its North winning streak to 18 games in a row.

The Senators, who are still playing without injured standout guard Eden Davis, also got 20 points from senior Wanya Wise.

That was enough to offset the 26 and 25-point nights turned in by the Riders’ Syed Myles and Kamal Marvel, respectively.

“Elijah Allen was a superstar tonight,” said CR coach Frank Victory. “I told him that after the game. He wanted to win this game. They’re playing without Eden and he knew he had to step up and do it.

“Wanya, it was the same way. I couldn’t be more impressed with those two guys. They really put the team on their back and just found a way to get it done tonight.”

“With the amount of pressure that that young man is under right now, trying to hold it down for Eden and trying to figure out his college situation as well as doing it in the classroom, I take my hat off to him,” Dover coach Stephen Wilson said about Allen. “He’s really working hard.”

With all that being said, the Riders made the Senators earn the rivalry-game win. The contest featured six lead changes and three ties in the first half.

But a Dover 17-6 run at the end of the first half turned a 26-26 game into a 43-32 advantage for the Senators at intermission. That run was capped off by Allen’s three-point heave and left him with 24 points in the first two quarters.

“With him (Davis) out, yeah, I picked it up for him,” said Allen. “We all picked it up for him and other players that were missing tonight. We’ve just got to pick it up for one another.

“The crowd was unbelievable in there and the atmosphere. We just came to play tonight.”

In the third quarter, the Riders closed within only 51-45 on a Brycen Williams three-pointer and then 54-48 on a three from Myles. But Dover answered with back-to-back three-pointers from freshman Dymear Yelverton and then two threes from Allen to quickly push its lead back to 66-48.

CR never got the Senators’ advantage back to single digits the rest of the way.

While the loss was the second in a row for the Riders (4-1 North, 5-2 overall) after a 5-0 start, CR didn’t do anything to change its status as one of the top teams in the Henlopen Conference this season.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for them and what he (Victory) is doing,” said Wilson. “I know it’s Dover-CR but you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a barn-burner when we go to them.”

The Riders will be trying to snap a three-game losing streak against Dover when they host the Senators on Feb. 14.

Dover, which also got 12 points apiece from Jy’Heim Spencer and Elijah Sessoms, used only seven players in Tuesday’s contest. Wilson likes the way the Senators are handling the demands of being a squad everyone wants to beat.

“The guys are hearing a little bit of talk of what they’re not,” he said. “I don’t think that they’re getting the respect that they deserve, But they just keep on grinding. I’m proud of the guys how they played tonight.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com