Newcomer Bloodsworth keys champion Smyrna boys’ opening win over Vikings

Smyrna coach Andrew Mears

LEWES — It took Greg Bloodsworth three seconds to score his first point for the Smyrna High boys’ basketball team.

He did plenty more of that.

Bloodsworth netted a game-high 27 points and Caleb Matthews followed with 26 as the Eagles opened the season with a 64-55 victory over Cape Henlopen High in a Henlopen Conference Northern Division contest on Friday night.

Bloodsworth, a Smyrna native, transferred to Smyrna for his senior year from St. Thomas More Academy and has already made quite the impact in one game for the defending state champions.

“I love it,” Bloodsworth said. “We did good tonight. They’ve treated me like I’ve been here for four years.”

The Smyrna team does have experience playing with Bloodsworth whether it was in grade school or in camps around the Smyrna area.

“Me and Greg have been playing together at camps and stuff since third grade,” Matthews said. “When I heard he was coming back this year I was really excited to play with him. We really showed how well we can work together tonight.”

Smyrna trailed 32-31 to the Vikings at halftime before out-scoring them 25-6 in the third quarter. Matthews nailed a go-ahead three on the third possession of the second half for a 36-34 advantage, a lead the Eagles would not relinquish the rest of the way.

Matthews’ three-pointer was the start of an 11-0 run by himself. He hit four consecutive shots, three of which were three-pointers.

Bloodsworth then buried a three of his own to complete a 14-0 Smyrna run. That was the start of Bloodsworth scoring the next 10 Smyrna points.

“That’s normal Greg,” said Smyrna coach Andrew Mears. “That’s who we’ve known him to be all his life. We’ve seen him play basketball all his life. That’s what we’ve been asking him to do all preseason and it’s Greg being Greg.”

Bloodsworth and Matthews were the only Smyrna players to make a field goal until the final possession of the third quarter. Nalik Veasley-Johnson chipped in seven points for the Eagles.

Smyrna trailed by as much as six points in the first half. The Eagles turned the ball over 12 times in the first half which led to the halftime deficit.

“To get into the half only being down one was pretty fortunate,” Mears said. “We knew to stick to the gameplan and just execute it better.”

Smyrna was playing without Jaymeir Garnett who was in street clothes for the game. With Garnett out and Zubi Nwankwo transferring out of state, Matthews was the only returner for the Eagles who played in last year’s state championship game.

Cape Henlopen was paced by Ian Robertson’s 19 points. Randy Rickards and Izaiah Dadzie were also in double figures with 15 and 12 points, respectively.

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