Cape Henlopen girls headed to semifinals

Viking Dania Cannon looks to pass as she drives around Grace Trerotola of Tatnall. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

LEWES — With a trip to the semifinals on the line, the Cape Henlopen High girls basketball game delivered its best defensive performance of the season.

The Vikings held Tatnall to an 11 percent shooting performance from the field. The Hornets only hit four field goals the entire game.

It added up to a 56-21 victory for the second-seeded Vikings over No. 10 Tatnall in the DIAA state quarterfinals on Monday night.

“We knew we were faster than them,” said Cape senior guard Dania Cannon. “We know when we play great defense and we play together that we can beat any team.”

– Mahkia Applewhite of Cape Henlopen drives to the basket for a layup past Tatnall’s Breionna Dodson. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Cape Henlopen (19-4) will play third seed Sanford (20-2) on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the semifinals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark.

It is the first time Cape Henlopen has made the semifinals since 2011.

“It’s awesome,” said senior Abbey Hearn. “This has been our goal since last year. We’ve always said, let’s get to the Bob and see what happens from there.”

“That’s been our objective,” echoed Cape coach Pat Woods. “We don’t know what’s going to happen there, but let’s get there and see what happens. It’s exciting for us. We’re going to treat it as a celebration. I think we can compete and it’s just fun to be on that stage.”

Hearn led all scorers with 24 points. The Vikings never trailed and were on top 15-2 after the first quarter as Tatnall missed its first 12 field goal attempts.

Cannon added 14 points while Mehkia Applewhite followed with 10.

Cannon, Applewhite and Hear each recorded three steals to highlight the Viking defensive effort.

“It eases everyone to know that it starts with defense,” Woods said. “We know we can lock up and play defense. We’re more comfortable with that. If some were to say, ‘I need you to hit four threes.’ Well, who knows if they’ll go in? But we know we can defend.”

That defense helped Cape Henlopen keep a double-digit lead despite some offensive struggles at times on Monday.

The Vikings only scored four points in the third quarter. They were held scoreless for the first 6:53 of the second half but still led 31-15 heading into the fourth.

Cape Henlopen’s offense came alive for the final quarter though, scoring 25 points in the fourth.

“We picked up the pace a bit and we got some turnovers to get layups,” Woods said. “That got us going. I didn’t think we panicked.”