Freshmen key Dover’s 74-67 road victory over Brandywine

WILMINGTON — The Dover High boys’ basketball team has won back-to-back games for the first time all season.

And the Senators have relied on some freshmen to do it.

Freshman Eden Davis scored a game-high 24 points in Dover’s 74-67 nonconference victory at Brandywine High on Tuesday evening. The Senators improved to 4-5 overall.

Another freshman, Elijah Allen, was also in double figures. Allen was recently called up to varsity after starting the season with the junior varsity team to earn more experience.

Dover also had freshman Javon Peace, who netted four points, in its starting lineup Tuesday.

“It’s not about what grade they’re in, it’s about what they can do on the court,” said Dover coach Stephen Wilson. “They have some unity together, they’ve been playing together since they were in the fourth or fifth grade. I’m doing the best I can to keep them together. We tried to get some of them some court time before they stepped up to varsity. But they’re holding it down right now.”

This is a Dover team that is trying to reload after graduating most of its core from last year’s squad, which won the Henlopen Conference Northern Division championship. The Senators only returned one player with starting experience, center Jhalil Mosley.

While there are more freshmen than normal, Dover still relies on some seniors.

Wilson’s son Stefan Rush-Wilson, a senior, came off the bench Tuesday to end the game as Dover’s second-leading scorer with 13 points. Senior Cameron Turner followed with 11 points.

“I think our seniors are starting to step up to lead us,” Wilson said. “It helps to have some Ws right now. After every loss they’re coming to try to get better. They’re adamant about learning and trying to help the team.”

Still, with such an inexperienced team, there are always some growing pains to be expected.

One of those happened on Tuesday when the Senators trailed early and did not score a basket until Rush-Wilson’s layup with 3:30 left in the first quarter. Wilson substituted all five players in an effort to mix things up and Dover eventually built a double-digit lead in the second quarter.

“I want them all to know they can be called on at anytime,” Wilson said. “They believe in each other and trust each other. They’re not letting anyone on the outside influence what we do on the inside. We talk about that a lot. Many people can have opinions on things but the guys on the court and the guys in the locker room are what matter. So they’re focused on each other and focused on getting better day by day.”

Nearly all of Dover’s defeats this season have come down to the final minutes. Four of the five losses have been by five points or less.

Dover will have a chance to see how far it has come with its next couple of games. The Senators host Smyrna, who is undefeated in the Henlopen North this year, on Thursday at 7:15 p.m.

Next Tuesday Dover will host crosstown rival Caesar Rodney for the second time this season. The Senators fell to CR in the season-opener 55-51.

“We’ve gotten better,” Wilson said. “But we’ve got a long way to go. The kids are getting along. It helps to have a couple wins but they’re getting along they’re working. That’s all I can ask of them. They haven’t given up and they’re working together.”

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