Dover girls crush Laurel in tourney opener 67-20

LAUREL — After two years of near-misses, the Dover High girls’ basketball team received its chance to show what it can do in the state tournament.

The Senators did not disappoint.

Dover scored 28 points in the first quarter on its way to a 67-20 road victory at Laurel in the first round of the DIAA state tournament on Wednesday night. The 17th-seeded Senators (13-8) advanced to play at No. 1 overall seed Conrad (16-4) on Friday night.

Laurel, seeded 16th in the tournament, finished its season with a 14-7 record.

It was the first postseason victory for Dover since the 2016 season.

The Senators went 10-10 in each of the last two years and were one of the final teams left out of the tournament both times.

“We put everything into practice this week, we were finally in the tournament so we were going to do our best,” said senior Tamyah Jones. “I feel like this past week we’ve worked so hard, bringing the energy to make sure we could beat Laurel. We truly thought we were better and we came and proved it.”

Jones and junior Z’Naiya Robinson led Dover on Wednesday with 21 points apiece. Heaven Robinson added eight points while Myaja Bynum scored six points.

Dover had not played a game since Monday, Feb. 17 but showed no signs of rust. The Senators started the game on a 28-8 run in the first quarter.

“They were biting at the bit to get on the court,” said Dover coach Jahi Davenport.

“It sounds cliché but we’re just happy to be here,” Davenport added. “We haven’t been here in a long time. We really just wanted to embrace the moment. The biggest thing is just putting on a show and try to generate some excitement for our program.”

The Senators rotated in and out of a fullcourt press, which led to plenty of turnovers and easy layups on the other end.

“We worked on that all week,” Jones said. “Slide your feet, keep your hands off. Twenty-eight points might be the most points we’ve scored in a first quarter all season. I really think that lockdown defense was the key.”

Laurel was led by Na’Kayla Smith who scored nine points.