Cape girls rout Sussex Tech 76-19 in home opener

Cape sophomore Mehkia Applewhite finds some room as she drives to the basket Tuesday night. She scored a game-high 18 points. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

LEWES — It took a few minutes, but once the offense found their rhythm it was difficult to slow Cape Henlopen High down.

With the score tied 6-6, a Carlin Quinn jumper at the 3:09 mark of the first quarter that woke the offense up and ignited a 32-6 Vikings run over the next 11 minutes on their way to a 76-19 girls’ basketball victory over Sussex Tech High Tuesday night.

The home win over their Henlopen Conference Northern Division foe puts the Vikings (2-1) back on track after dropping a 63-28 out of state loss to Archbishop John Carroll, Pa. on Saturday at the 76ers Field House in Wilmington.

The win also extends Cape’s win streak over the Ravens (1-2) to three games.

Senior Dania Cannon dribbles the ball down the court for Cape. Cannon scored 16 points in the win.

In the first five minutes, the Vikings tried to force shots and go one-on-one, rather than run through the plays on offense.

As a result, missed shots, turnovers and fouls riddled the Vikings before Quinn sunk her first shot of the night to get things going.

From there, Cape scored nine of the last 11 points of the quarter to take the 17-8 lead through the first eight minutes. The Vikings never relinquished the lead.

“We talked about starting to run the plays — stop going one-on-one — because we are a better team when we run through the plays, come together and just pass the ball more,” said Dania Cannon. “We needed to just calm down — it was our first home game, so everybody was kind of just wound up.”

Sophomore Mehkia Applewhite led the scoring with a game-high 18 points, while seniors Cannon and Abbey Hearn added 16 each.

Cape’s Morgan Mahoney watches her shot after following through on a jumper.

Quinn also reached double digits, netting four of her 10 points in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Morgan Mahoney (eight), junior Jhayden Holloman (three), sophomore Lauryn Head (two) and junior Abigail Ikechi-Konkwo (two) rounded out Cape’s scoring.

“It’s fun knowing that you don’t have to have the pressure to score every time, you can trust in your teammates to score,” said Cannon of the offensive production.

Senior Tiara Wilson put up a team-high six points for Tech, while senior Ciara Wilson added five points – all of which came in the first quarter.

Junior Daniya Dashiell (three), junior Keilani Bradham-Gibbs (two) and freshmen Justice Smack (two) and Takayla Williams (one) rounded out the Ravens’ scoring.

Cape’s scoring run continued in the second quarter, with Hearn scoring seven of the team’s 21 points on their way to building a 38-12 halftime lead.

Sophomore Ella Rishko scans the court for an open teammate.

Applewhite scored 12 of her 18 in the second half as the Vikings controlled the tempo to close out their second 70-point performance of the season.

“We just needed to get up our defensive tempo and really try to force the ball out of their hands,” said Hearn. “When we started turning them over on defense, we got some easy looks in transition and then we just kind of went from there.”

After struggling from beyond the three-point arc in the first two games, Cape coach Pat Woods implemented a system in practice that requires his girls to “earn” the right to shoot three-pointers in games.

“Here’s the reason, we were shooting 12 percent (from three point rage) on the season,” he said. “And we’re really good when we’re attacking the basket, we rely on threes, so it’s a balance, I think … but they haven’t earned the right to shoot threes.

“So, every one of them, if they want to shoot threes in a game, there’s a drill that we run and they have to get five badges,” he continued. “If they get five badges, they get a license to shoot.”

The system, which he says has resulted in the girls being more eager to get those practice shots in whenever possible, was on display in the 57-point win as just one three-pointer was attempted by Cape through the 32 minutes – Cannon knocked one down early in the fourth quarter before being taken out of the game.

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