Reynolds leads Sussex Tech boys by Cape 69-54 for third straight win

LEWES — Following Wednesday night’s 69-54 road win over Cape Henlopen High, the Sussex Tech High boys’ basketball squad has won three straight and four of its last five games.

Junior Devon Reynolds led the scoring with 19 points for the Ravens (5-3), knocking down three first-half three-pointers in the process.

“I came out feeling good,” Reynolds said. “I just did the best I could to help my team. In the second half we didn’t look very good, we could’ve played better.”

Fellow juniors Skylar Johnson and K.J. Custis added 18 and 14 points, respectively, for Tech.

“We didn’t come in and expect to take them lightly,” said Tech coach Damon Ayers. “They’re a good team, they’ve won some games against some quality teams in the conference. There’s never a dull moment in this conference and you have to be able to come out and fight every night.”

The 15-point Henlopen Northern Division victory comes just four days removed from the team’s two-game sweep at the 38th annual Governor’s Challenge holiday basketball tournament in Salisbury, Md.

“It was huge, we had an opportunity to play some good teams and that last game we played [at the Gov. Challenge], they really had some good size and some guys who can really shoot the ball. Our guys were able to fight and dig down and play some solid defense in the fourth quarter to get us the win,” said Ayers.

“It really helped us a lot, we got better as a team and it rolled over into tonight’s game,” Reynolds said.

With a couple of key Cape players sitting out Wednesday, including junior Sh’Kai Chandler, the Ravens enjoyed a fast start offensively as they led by as many as 13 points in the opening quarter.

Cape’s sophomore forward Ethan Pires got the scoring started with a three-pointer just 58 seconds into the game, but Tech’s Ja’Shaun Johnson answered with a three-pointer of his own and handed the Ravens the lead with a successful free throw attempt at the 5:39 mark of the opening quarter.

The Vikings (3-4) never held a lead again.

Sussex Tech put up 24 points in the second quarter to go into the halftime break with a decisive 45-17 lead.

“In the first half, I think we played with a different level of intensity, our guys were really rotating, we got some transition baskets, knocked down some key threes,” Ayers explained.

After just 17 combined points in the first two quarters, Cape came out of the halftime break with more energy and put up 16 points in the third quarter.

“We came out flat, we got too comfortable with the lead we had,” said Reynolds.

Cape slapped together a 9-0 run to open the fourth quarter, outscoring Tech 21-11 in the game’s final eight minutes.

“In the second half I think we came out a little bit laxed and thought the game was over,” Ayers said. “Sometimes it’s hard to keep guys focused when you build an early lead like that, so that’s something we have to continue working on in practice.”

Cape pulled to within 12 points, 64-52, with 90 seconds remaining but that’s as close as the Vikings managed to get to a comeback. A lay-up from senior Ericson Willy with three ticks remaining capped the 69-point performance for the Ravens.

Pires led Cape’s scoring, knocking down three three-pointers and recording 18 points in the Vikings’ third straight loss. Sophomore guard Ja’Vaughn Burton scored 15 and junior guard Kristoffer Rushin added 12 points of his own.

Sussex Tech has averaged 65.3 points per game and put up a 3-2 record against Henlopen North opponents in eight games this season.
“This doesn’t mean anything,” said Reynolds. “We have to keep going.”

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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