Cape Henlopen girls shut down Lake Forest 61-29

FELTON — Strong defense and a balanced scoring attack has been a point of emphasis for coach Pat Woods and his Cape Henlopen High girls’ basketball team all season.

Tuesday night’s road contest at Lake Forest High was no exception.

Cape defeated Lake Forest, 61-29, to improve to 13-3. All eight players scored at least two points.

“We said we want to win the rebounding battle, the turnover battle and we want to shoot better than they do,” Woods said.

With an 8-2 record in the Henlopen Conference Northern Division, the Cape girls just need wins over Sussex Tech High (13-3) Friday and Dover High (7-7) next Tuesday to wrap up the division title.

“We just now talked about how everything starts and ends with defense for us. I think if I’m coaching against us, that’s my biggest concern is our man to man defense. We have athletes. They can just lock up, and they like to.”

It marks just the third loss and the third-lowest scoring total for the Spartans (14-3).

“If you look at our stats, our scoring is pretty balanced,” Woods said. “At one point we were almost four or five girls in double figures. That’s the goal. And I told the girls that you’re going to have lower stats this year then you’ve ever had, because we have to share it. They’ve embraced it.”

Junior forwards Abbey Hearn and Carlin Quinn contributed on both ends of the court, with Hearn scoring a game-high 17 points and Quinn reeling in 17 rebounds.

Junior guard Dania Cannon contributed 13 points for Cape.

“Carlin had 17 rebounds, so that was pretty impressive,” said Hearn. “We just kind of put our nose in the paint and we’re a tough team so we try to get loose balls and 50-50 balls.”

The Cape defense was able to keep the Spartans out of the paint and force turnovers to quickly build a double-digit first half lead.
“We tried to front the post and force them to shoot from the outside, because we knew they’d be less comfortable,” Hearn said. “They have a couple of bigger players, so we tried to make them swing it from the outside and put up a long-range shot.”

Lake’s go-to scorers, seniors Jada Gourdine and Grace Aguilar, were limited to a combined 14 points.

Gourdine struck first, netting the game’s first basket just seven seconds into the contest, but a couple of early turnovers led to seven unanswered points for Cape over the next 1:26 to force the Spartans to burn an early timeout.

“Whenever we get a turnover, we try to push the pace and get a fast break because we have a lot of athletic girls who can outrun people,” said Hearn.

“So, as soon as we secure the ball, two or three people are taking off down the passing lanes and somebody like Dania can facilitate.”
Cape used an 18-4 run to help build a double-digit lead, 23-13, at the end of the first quarter.

The Henlopen North-leading Vikings didn’t score its first point of the second quarter until Hearn hit a mid-range jumper at the 4:26 mark.

The jumper energized a 9-2 run over the next four and a half minutes to take a 34-17 lead into the halftime break.

Cape out-scored Lake 15-7 in the third quarter, with freshman Morgan Mahoney scoring all five of her points in the quarter.

Quinn’s six-point fourth quarter helped the Vikings solidify the 32-point win over the Spartans.

In addition to Quinn’s 17 rebounds, she also put up eight points on the offensive end. Freshman Mehkia Applewhite knocked down a pair of three-pointers and scored eight points.

Gourdine and senior Phelisha Scott each put up a team-high eight points for the Spartans. Freshman Gabrielle Almonte scored seven and Aguilar contributed six points.

Seniors Alexis Watkins (four) and Niya Mosley (four), and junior Ryleigh Elliott (two) rounded out the scoring for Cape.

“We’re all coming together, the chemistry has gotten a lot better,” said Hearn. “Carlin and I transferred in, and then Morgan and Mehkia came up from Beacon [Middle School], so it took us a while for us to all mesh together, but I think it’s all worked out pretty well.”

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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