Explosive fourth quarter leads Woodbridge boys past Bucs

MILFORD — It took until the 4:19 mark of the second quarter for someone not named Jamon Kane to score a basket for Woodbridge High.

The senior scored the first 16 points for his team, finishing with a game-high 29, in the Blue Raiders’ 65-49 road victory over rival Milford High Thursday night inside a packed Milford Central Academy gymnasium.

“He’s a hustler,” senior Troy Haynes said of Kane. “Most of his buckets are hustle points, we acknowledge that and it showed today. When I wasn’t playing well, he stepped up to the plate and it definitely helped a lot.”

The Henlopen Conference Southern Division win for the Blue Raiders (2-0) comes just 12 days after four of its five starters — Kane, Haynes, Richard Massey and Tajhon Hammond — helped the football team capture the Division II state title Dec. 1.

“It was a good win for us mentally more than anything, because we knew it was going to be an uphill battle,” said Woodbridge assistant coach John Mosley, who was filling in for one game in place of head coach Julius Cannon.

“Milford is a good squad — they’re talented, they have a lot of good athletes just like we do. We were just able to pull it off, and hopefully we can build on this.”

Haynes scored just two first-half points but finished the game with 27 points behind a dominant 20-point fourth quarter performance.

“I just trusted my shot and I kept shooting,” said Haynes. “I was a little cold in the first half, going into the fourth quarter I think I had four or five points. Coach Andre [Matthews] and coach Shane [Letthand] told me to just trust my shot and that’s exactly what I did.”

Haynes knocked down four of his five three-pointers in the final eight minutes of the game, helping the offense out-score the Bucs 24-11 in the fourth quarter.

“It’s just like I told him — it’s in his head,” said Mosley. “He’s a shooter, don’t be afraid to let the ball go. If you get comfortable with where you’re at, you’ll be fine.”

Even behind the 20-point first half performance from Kane, the Bucs (3-1) stayed in the game through the first three quarters.

A pair of key three-pointers from senior Jaxson Turner paced the Bucs’ 15-point second quarter, pulling to within two points — 25-23 — at the halftime break.

The game featured 11 lead changes, including six in the third quarter alone, with the Bucs taking a 38-36 lead with 1:22 remaining in the quarter following a three-point shot from senior Brock Hilligoss.

That’s the closest Milford would come to winning the game.

The Kane and Haynes duo took over the remaining 9:22, scoring Woodbridge’s last 29 points to pull away with the double-digit victory.

The fourth quarter rally all started with a Haynes three-point shot that beat the third quarter buzzer, breaking up a tie and putting the Blue Raiders ahead for good.

“They’re our best two players and they are our team captains. They did what we know they can do,” said Mosley. “We just had to settle down. Once we did that, started playing our game, I knew we would be fine.”

Haynes hit three more three-point shots through the first 2:21 of the fourth quarter to drain the remaining energy out of the Bucs’ home crowd.

“It felt great,” he said. “After I got into my zone, I didn’t really see anything but the basket.”

Freshman Tyrese Fortune (four points), Hammond (two points), junior Gerald Walker (two points) and Massey (one point) rounded out the scoring for the Blue Raiders.

“We’re just getting warmed up,” said Haynes. “We’re getting back into the basketball mode – we just played 13 straight weeks of football – so we just have to get our groove back. After this game, I hope a lot of people see we have the potential to go deep into the playoffs.”

Ten different Bucs put up points in the loss, led by a team-high 12 points from senior Nick Sivels.

Turner and Tyron Mifflin recorded eight points each, with both seniors knocking down a pair of three-pointers.

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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