Dover erupts in second half, tops Eagles to take control in Henlopen North

SMYRNA — Despite most of their starters either struggling or on the bench in foul trouble, Dover High still held a two-point halftime lead.

Then coach Stephen Wilson lit into them at halftime and the Senators responded with fury in a dominant third quarter.

Terrence Woodlin scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half and Jordan Allen had a game-high 22 points as Dover took control of the Henlopen Conference Northern Division with a 79-64 victory over Smyrna High on Thursday night.

Dover (6-0 North, 8-3 overall) went on a 23-2 run in the second half.

“We embarrassed ourselves a little bit in that first half,” Woodlin said. “Coach just wanted us to work harder because we needed this statement win. It’s really big, really big. We really needed this one.”

Woodlin didn’t hit a shot from the floor in the first half and was 2-of-6 at the free throw line — one of those misses was an airball. He responded in the second half with two dunks, seven baskets and nailing a free throw to finish off a three-point play when he was fouled on a two-handed dunk.

“He was one that I got after in there,” Wilson said. “Woody doesn’t airball free throws, Woody doesn’t hesitate on taking shots. Woody knows he has to play better than what he did in the first half. He fought through the adversity like a senior should do.”

It wasn’t just Woodlin who Wilson challenged at halftime.

He reminded the seniors this was their final chance to win at Smyrna, which they had not done in their careers until Thursday.

“I challenged them and asked them how they wanted to be remembered,” Wilson said. “This is the seniors’ last time coming to Smyrna. There’s a lot of things being said about this group and they’re not being respected like they should. … I put it on the seniors. I told them they had to rebound, defend that three-point line and stop fouling. They did what I asked them to do.”

Dover didn’t lead in the first half until a minute left in the second quarter.

Allen and Thomas Hoskins were each whistled for three fouls in the first half, leaving them on the bench for a majority of it. Michael Douglas was also hampered with a pair of fouls.

The Senator bench sparked a rally late in the second quarter, led by back-to-back threes by senior Troy Scott. Scott’s second three gave Dover a 26-24 advantage at the break.

“He’s a big-time player,” Allen said. “Everybody on this team is a big-time player. On that bench, everybody is good.”

“We had to find that intensity and attitude to finish the game off,” Scott said.

Scott finished as Dover’s third leading scorer with 12 points. Hoskins added 11 points despite his foul trouble.

“We don’t just sit back and watch Jordan go to work,” Wilson said. “We believe that all 11 people can play. Our bench seized the moment tonight.”

Smyrna’s top scorer was Caleb Matthews with 17 points. Ja’vier Worthy added 16 for the Eagles (3-2 North, 6-2 overall).

The game was tied early in the third quarter 31-31 when Worthy hit a driving layup for Smyrna. The Eagles did not make a field goal over their next 13 possessions to end the quarter.

Meanwhile the Senators couldn’t miss, scoring on five-straight possessions for a 10-1 run. Allen buried a pull-up three on a fastbreak at the end of the third and nailed another three on the first possession of the fourth to cap the 23-2 run and give Dover a 54-33 lead.

“The third quarter, we came out hot,” Allen said. “We knew we were only up by two at half so we knew we had to make a statement.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.