Hooks’ three helps host Riders defeat Seaford 59-52

CAMDEN — Jaquan Hooks wasn’t going to stop shooting despite missing every three-pointer he took.

So when he was open from behind the arc with two minutes left, Hooks didn’t hesitate.

Hooks’ hit a go-ahead three to lift Caesar Rodney to a 59-52 victory over Seaford in boys basketball on Tuesday night. It was the first and only three Hooks made on the night.

“My teammates believed in me,” Hooks, a junior, said. “All of them and the coaches kept telling me to keep shooting so I hit it.”

The Riders needed to come back from a 28-24 halftime deficit for the win which is their third in a row.

Caesar Rodney outscored the Blue Jays 13-2 in the final five minutes of the third quarter. That run was sparked by sophomore Jayvon Palmer who had 11 of those points.

Palmer finished with 20 points.

“We always talk about making sure that he asserts himself,” coach Freeman Williams said. “He did that tonight on the boards, on defense and then running the floor to finish on the offensive end.”

The Riders went up 43-33 but Seaford rallied with 10 unanswered points in the fourth.

The Blue Jays had a one-point lead until Hooks buried his three-point attempt to go up 54-52. Hooks added a layup on the next possession.

“He’s played for us for so long that we know his shot will always come around,” Williams said. “I was proud that he trusted his shot and trusted his stroke.”

The Riders sealed it with three free throws in the final minute.

Seaford was paced by Rahim Smith who scored 20 points and blocked six shots.

After losing their first six games to start the season, Caesar Rodney is now 3-6.

“Through everything all we’ve talked about was staying positive and making sure we continue to work,” Williams said. “No matter what the outcome of these games are, we need to make sure we’re getting better. We’re happy that we’ve won these three but we know we have a lot of work to do.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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