High school basketball notebook: Dover boys out to finish 14-0 in North

Dover High boys’ basketball coach Stephen Wilson knows he has to keep pushing his players to get better. Delaware State News file photo

DOVER — Stephen Wilson, like most coaches of good teams, is trying to walk that tightrope.

The Dover High boys’ basketball coach knows he has to keep pushing his players to get better.

But no squad is perfect every time they take the court, either.

“I know we’re a much better product than what we showed out there today,” Wilson said after the Senators got past Woodbridge, 78-71, on Friday night. “But a win is a win. But we’ve got a lot of work to do in order to reach our goals — and I think we will.

“We lost our focus,” he said about Dover’s seven-point third quarter against the Blue Raiders. “It shouldn’t be hard but we’ve got to remember that we’re dealing with young kids. They’re going to have those ups and those downs. It’s our job as the adults to try to reel them back in the best that we can.”

With all that in mind, Dover (12-0 Henlopen North, 16-1 overall) can still be perfect again in the Henlopen Conference Northern Division.

The Senators, who own a 26-game North winning streak, have already clinched their second-straight division crown. Only Sussex Tech (8-4 North, 10-7 overall), which Dover hosts today at 7 p.m., and rival Caesar Rodney (9-3 North, 12-5 overall, which hosts the Senators on Friday at 6:15 p.m., can keep Dover from going 14-0 again.

The CR showdown is a big one, of course. The gates will open at 3 p.m. with the contest also being shown online (for a fee) at NFHSnetwork.com.

After that, the Senators’ only remaining regular-season game is on Feb. 20 when they host Delcastle (currently 11-4) at 6:30 p.m.
With a 40-2 record over the past two seasons, Dover is used to having a target on its back. Like Woodbridge proved again on Friday, the Senators are the team everyone wants to beat right now.

“We made it tougher than it should have been but we still dug it out and got the win,” senior guard Elijah Allen said after the game. “We’ve got to keep our foot on the gas. We can’t let up on anybody because everybody wants to give us their best shot.

“They’re not going to give up so we’ve got to keep it going 100 percent the whole game.”

Riders on a roll

CR’s girls look like they’ve gotten back on track this season.

At 7-5 in the North, 12-5 overall, they take a five-game winning streak into today’s 6 p.m. North matchup at Smyrna. The Riders have already won twice as many games as they did last winter in a 6-14 campaign.

But CR, which is 11-2 after a 1-3 start, would love to get some more victories to build up its DIAA state tournament resume. After Smyrna, the Riders play a 6:30 p.m. game at Dover (12-5) on Friday before hosting Delaware Military (6-9) on Feb. 19.

CR edged Dover, 58-55, on Jan. 7 after getting swept by the Senators a year ago.

Free throws

• Laurel and Woodbridge look like they’re headed for a playoff game to decide the Henlopen South boys’ title. Both teams have only one division loss and split their two regular-season meetings.

The Bulldogs have three division games remaining while the Raiders have two. The South champion faces Dover in the Henlopen Conference championship game.

• CR’s boys (12-5) host Smyrna (13-4) today at 6:15 p.m. in another big game for two teams trying to solidify their at-large state tourney points. The Eagles topped the Riders, 59-57, on Jan. 21.

• While Cape Henlopen’s girls have already wrapped up a second-straight Henlopen North crown, the Vikings would like to go 14-0 in the division this time. Remember, last year, Cape lost twice in the North.

This year, the Vikings (12-0 North, 15-3 overall) have won 12 games in a row overall with just North games remaining against Milford tonight and Sussex Central on Thursday. Cape has won 15 straight division games since falling to Polytech, 53-50, last Jan. 29.