Dover boys fall at Slam Dunk, snap regular season winning streak

Dover’s Jy’Heim Spencer makes a basket at the Slam Dunk to the Beach tournament. Special to the State News/Chuck Snyder

LEWES — Losses have not happened often over the last couple of seasons at Dover High for its boys’ basketball team.

A disjointed fourth quarter dealt the Senators one of those rare losses on Saturday.

Eleanor Roosevelt of Maryland rallied for a 56-51 victory against the Senators at Cape Henlopen on the second day of the annual Slam Dunk to the Beach tournament. It was Dover’s first game of the tourney, it plays against today against Cape Henlopen.

The Senators had only lost once this calendar year, in the state championship to Sanford. They saw a six-game winning streak snapped as they fell to 6-1 on the season.

“I’d rather take this bump in the road now, earlier in the season,” said Dover senior guard Elijah Allen. “So we know in the playoffs, we can’t let up near the end of the game.”

It was the first regular season loss for Dover since Feb. 21, 2018 at Newark High — a streak of 26 games.

The Senators were missing star guard Eden Davis, a First Team All-State player from a year ago. Davis suffered an injury on Thursday, against Wicomico High (Md.) at the Governors’ Challenge in Salisbury, Md.

Dover coach Stephen Wilson said the staff found out at 9 p.m. on Friday night Davis would not be able to play.

“We had to change some things on the fly which gave us an opportunity to get some younger guys in the game,” Wilson said. “I thought we competed on the boards. We knew they were going to come in and pressure us like we pressure people. I think it came down to free throws and turnovers, we didn’t make free throws in certain situations.”

Dover led 34-27 at halftime and the Senators were on top 40-37 headed into the fourth quarter before Eleanor Roosevelt pulled off the comeback.

The game was tied 44-44 with 5:50 left in the game and Eleanor Roosevelt responded with a 12-3 run to lead by as much as nine down the stretch.

Dover shot 6-of-17 from the free-throw line. The Senators also turned the ball over 12 times, including three on the first four possessions of the fourth quarter.

Allen finished as Dover’s top scorer with 15 points. Sophomore Elijah Sessoms, who saw an increase in playing time with Davis out, was the only other Senators in double figures with 11 points.

“It’s next man up,” Sessoms said. “Whoever wants it is going to get it, next man up.”

Wanya Wise scored seven points, all in the first half, for Dover. Wise missed the bulk of the second half as he was whistled for three fouls before the end of the second quarter and eventually fouled out, only playing 14 minutes.

Jy’Heim Spencer added six points, nine rebounds and three blocks for the Senators.

“I’m happy with how we battled against that team,” Wilson said. “They won a championship last year. We don’t expect to lose so we’re a little down, but sometimes you have to learn to lose to be good winners. We don’t make excuses. That’s a good basketball team and we lost to them. We got to come back ready to play.”