Blue-Gold notebook: Lassiter set to represent state runner-up Dover for last time

Dover’s John Lassiter drives to the basket for a shot against Caravel in the state tournament semifinals. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

DOVER — The memory of Saturday will always sting for John Lassiter.

Lassiter and the rest of the Dover High boys basketball team were so close to a state championship.

But they had to watch Sanford celebrate after a last-second comeback.

Dover was leading in the final minute before coming up three points short. The Senators were looking for an undefeated season as they entered the contest 24-0.

The way things ended hurt, but Lassiter said this week he’ll still remember the whole season fondly.

“We made history,” Lassiter said. “We lost in the end but we still had a very good season. It would’ve been nice to top it off and win that game but we did a hell of a job.”

Lassiter has one more chance to represent Dover. He’s the lone Senators on the Gold team for the Blue-Gold senior all-star game this Saturday at the new 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington.

“It’s a good moment to be a part of,” Lassiter said.

Lassiter played the final year of his career at Dover after transferring from Caesar Rodney High. He said he aims to play basketball in college and has had some interest from a few Division II and Division III schools.

Lassiter is still in playoff mode after last week’s state tournament and will attack Saturday’s contest with the same intensity.

“I’m still locked in,” Lassiter said. “I want to represent for my school. It’s the same mindset I had all year.”

To the Fieldhouse

The Blue-Gold game has a new home for its 26th year.

The game had been hosted at the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center for the past several seasons but is moving to Wilmington for the first time at the newly opened 76ers Fieldhouse. The girls game tips at 12:30 p.m. with the boys game to follow.

Doors open at noon.

Caesar Rodney coach Freeman Williams said he is excited to help open the new facility. Williams, who grew up in Newark and attended Newark High, referenced how it feels as special as going to the old UD Fieldhouse.

“Every time you hear, ‘The Fieldhouse’ you get goosebumps,” Williams said. “That goes back to the ‘70s with the one in Newark. To be a part of this new Blue-Gold experience at the new fieldhouse, it’s special. It really is.”

The game itself

The Blue-Gold is typically known as a high-scoring affair with little defense played; however both teams do want to win.

“We’re just trying to get the job done as a team,” Lassiter said. “We got a lot of good players from all different teams and good coaches.”

It is a chance to get to know some rival players. The Gold team is made up of Henlopen Conference players plus Caravel and Glasgow.
Lassiter said it was pretty easy getting to know everyone at the Gold’s first practice together on Tuesday at Wesley College.

“If you’re a basketball player you’ll have chemistry,” Lassiter said. “It’s not hard. Everyone here is a good player.”

Saturday will also feature a halftime three-point shooting contest for the girls and a slam dunk contest for the boys.

“We want to have fun,” Williams said. “We want to compete and we want to share the basketball. You’ll definitely see the competitive nature of the guys and we’re looking forward to Saturday.”

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