Rider girls win tourney opener over Delmarva Christian, eye Sanford

CR’s Alexis Reid shoots as Delmarva Christian’s Grace Fetterman leaps to block in the first half at Delmarva Christian. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

GEORGETOWN — The Caesar Rodney High girls’ basketball team celebrated briefly after advancing in the DIAA girls’ basketball state tournament.

But the Riders quickly focused on a tough task ahead.

Caesar Rodney defeated Delmarva Christian 70-32 in a first-round matchup Wednesday night. The No. 18-seeded Riders will now travel to second seed Sanford School on Friday in the second round at 6:30 p.m.

CR’s Kylie Kornegay-Lucas rebounds against Delmarva Christian’s Jabre’a Purnell, left, and Claire Marshall in the first half at Delmarva Christian. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

Sanford (17-3) has won every all-time contest against Caesar Rodney, who is 14-7 this season.

“It’ll get tougher and that’s fine,” said CR coach Bill Victory. “We took the Ls we did this year to get ready for this moment that’s coming. Hopefully we’ll step our game up and play. They’re a great team and we’ve never beaten them. But maybe, who knows, that’s why we play.”

The Riders recovered from a slow start to take control of the game by halftime.

Caesar Rodney came into the week preparing for a trip to Wilmington Christian when the brackets were first announced. Then Dickinson self-reported two forfeits during its regular season due to an ineligible player, which changed most of the first round brackets.

CR’s seed remained the same but its matchup changed, instead traveling downstate for a game against the Royals, who end the year at 13-8. The two teams typically do not appear on each other’s schedule, they haven’t faced one another in the last 10 seasons.

The Riders only led 16-10 after the first quarter before outscoring Delmarva Christian 22-12 in the second quarter.

CR’s Kylie Kornegay-Lucas shoots against Delmarva Christian’s Grace Fetterman in the first half at Delmarva Christian. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

“We haven’t played for a week and sometimes we don’t start out real well,” Victory said. “It’s a new environment, we haven’t played here. So considering all things, we made some adjustments at halftime and did what we had to do. Does it prepare us for the freight train that’s coming? I don’t know, we’ll see.”

Brionna Brooks made a pair of threes to put Caesar Rodney up by double-digits for the first time early in the second quarter but the Royals responded to cut the deficit to nine. Kylie Kornegay-Lucas then answered with six consecutive points including back-to-back layups where she stole the inbounds pass.

Kornegay-Lucas was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points. Brooks and Lillian Ayers followed with 10 points apiece while Alexis Reid chipped in nine points for the Riders.

Delmarva Christian was paced by Camryn Breasure’s 14 points and Gracie Fetterman added seven.

The Riders went on a 16-2 run in the third quarter.

“Once we made our adjustments we were able to lock down their best players and frustrate them a bit,” Victory said. “We did what we needed to do as far as help defense. Then we ran the break so I’m good with that.”

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