Rider boys hold off rival Senators 46-43 for season sweep

DOVER — For two years in a row, the Caesar Rodney High boys’ basketball team has been on the wrong end of its rivalry against Dover High.

This year, the Riders can celebrate being on top for the regular season.

Senior Kairi Buie led all scorers with 16 points and the Riders escaped Dover with a wild 46-43 victory on Tuesday night. Dover had swept the season series from CR the last two years, but this was the Riders’ second victory over their crosstown rivals this season.

“This is a great team win because we all played our hearts out,” Buie said.“All in all, it’s our Dover rival. This is probably the biggest rivalry in the state. If you never played in that rivalry before, you wouldn’t know how it feels.

“It’s a good game to play in for real,” Buie added. “It’s intense, the crowd is into it, the boys are into it and it’s a rivalry game. It’s great to play in.”

Caesar Rodney has won four consecutive games to improve to 7-3 overall. The Riders sit at 5-2 in the Henlopen Conference Northern Division.

Dover dropped to 5-7 overall and 2-5 in the Henlopen North.

It’s the first time Caesar Rodney has swept Dover in the regular season since the 2013-2014 season.

The game looked headed toward an anticlimactic ending with CR on top 44-35 in the final minute. Most of the crowd started trickling out the exits but the Senators had one more determined run in them.

Shyhee McDowell cut the CR lead to six when he was fouled on a successful layup attempt and hit the resulting free throw. CR missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity on the next possession and Dover freshman guard Eden Davis came down and drained a three with 25 seconds left.

Caesar Rodney still led 44-41, but turned over the inbounds pass. Dover freshman Javon Peace picked it off and scored on a layup to make it a one-point game, sending the remaining fans into a frenzy.

Davione Robinson converted one of two free throws for CR to stretch the lead to two before Dover called timeout with 12 seconds to go. The Riders went into a fullcourt press and forced a turnover when Robinson stole a pass at midcourt.

“We just wanted to make sure they didn’t get the shot they wanted,” said CR coach Freeman Williams. “We wanted to contain them with some pressure.”

Due to some missed free throws, the Senators still had a chance to send the game into overtime. But CR’s Joe Williams blocked a three-point attempt at the buzzer.

“I’m just glad we were able to get another win in the conference and another road win,” Williams said. “We have a saying we want to be 1-0 each day. There are some things that we need to get better at but proud of us that we got the win.”

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