Rider girls fall to 2nd-seeded Sanford 61-27 in state tournament

HOCKESSIN — The Caesar Rodney High girls’ basketball team found itself in a large hole at the end of the first quarter in its second round tournament matchup.

Sanford School used an impressive first quarter to pull away from the Riders and earn a 61-27 win. The No. 2 seeded Warriors advanced to play seven seed Ursuline in the quarterfinals on Sunday at the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center.

Caesar Rodney, seeded 18th, ended its season at 14-8.

The Riders took a 4-0 lead in the first two minutes before Sanford shut them out the rest of the quarter. The Warriors scored the next 20 points of the game.

“That run seemed like it never ended,” said CR coach Bill Victory.

Sanford center Sam Pollich led all scorers with 18 points. Point guard Lauren Park added 14 while Olivia Tucker chipped in 12 for the Warriors including a pair of three-points.

“They get the best of the best,” Victory said. “The big girl, we had no answer for her. We had no answer for Park. We had no answer for their shooter. We just had no answer.

“This is elite stuff we have to deal with and it’s never going to get right. Private schools can get what they can get and they’re going to be what they’re going to be. I don’t know what the answer is.”

Kylie Kornegay-Lucas was CR’s leading scorer with eight points.

Laynee Ford scored five points for CR while Alexis Reid and Alexia Jordan had four points each. Reid and Kornegay-Lucas were both in foul trouble as early as the first quarter with two fouls each.

Sanford was able to build a 29-8 lead at halftime and was up by as much as 50-17 at the end of the third quarter. Sanford was able to do this while missing Allie Kubek who was out with an injury she suffered midseason.

“My girls gave me their best shot,” Victory said. “But the stage was too big and the team was too good. It’s not going to get better next year because their best player didn’t even play.”

Caesar Rodney was attempting to make the quarterfinals for the second-straight year but fell one game short.

The Riders will graduate three seniors from this squad — Reid, Zoe Scott and Brionna Brooks.

“They did all the things they needed to do to be competitive,” Victory said. “They gave it their best shot. They knew going into it how things were going to be. I’m proud of them for keeping our tradition alive and battling to the end. We never gave up the fight.”

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