Riders starting to see success

 

Caesar Rodney High’s boys’ basketball team trailed Polytech by just a point last Thursday night.

But there was only six seconds left when Davione Robinson started up the court.

The sophomore got off about a 15-foot runner that missed.

In the next instant, though, Robinson got to the rebound and put it back up. The ball bounced around on the rim but then fell through the net with no time left.

The Riders had themselves a memorable 65-64 victory over the Panthers.

“It was an unbelievable play,” said CR coach Freeman Williams. “I was just really proud of the kids, battling throughout the whole game. We ended up finding a way to get it done at the end.”

Finally, the Riders are starting to feel like things are going their way.

After beginning the season with six straight losses, CR has now won four games in a row. Now 3-3 in the Henlopen Conference Northern Division, 4-6 overall, the Riders will take their winning streak to Woodbridge on Friday for a 7:15 p.m. matchup.

With a young squad that features only two seniors, Williams is proud of the way his players hung in even when they were 0-6.

“Through it all, we haven’t really wavered with our expectations on things,” he said. “We’ve continued to work hard and we’ve continued to preach defense and the importance of sharing the ball and being a good teammate.

“What’s been good is that we’re starting to see some success from all the hard work.”

With half its schedule still in front of it, there’s still time for CR to accomplish some good things this season.

Along with the six remaining Henlopen North games, the Riders face non-conference matchups with Woodbridge, St. Mark’s, Milford and Indian River. They have a shot at bettering their final 8-12 record from last winter.

“One of the things we said throughout when we watched film and we broke things down, we just said, ‘Look guys, there’s things that we can fix,’” said Williams. “‘If you clean these things up, the wins are going to take care of themselves.’

“To their credit, they stayed focused. They’ve gotten tighter as a team. As we keep working on the fundamentals, it’s been nice to see guys build and get better. The biggest thing for us when things didn’t start the way we wanted to was, we’re going to stay positive and we’re going to keep working hard. The kids did that.

“Now, as we’ve had success, the mindset is still, stay positive and keep working hard. But now you have to want even more success and you have to continue to work even harder.”

Dover girls bounce back

It’s certainly been an up-and-down season for the Dover girls’ basketball team so far.

The Senators won their first three games of the year, then lost four out of five but have won their last two in a row.

Tonight, Dover (4-2 North, 6-4) faces a pivotal Henlopen Conference Northern Division matchup when it hosts rival CR (5-1. 9-3) at 7:15 p.m.

The Senators knocked off the Riders, 57-55, on Dec. 4 in the first game of the season. Sophomore Ashley Manifold’s last-second basket off a loose ball gave Dover the dramatic win.

The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Senators in the series, giving Dover its first win over CR since 2011.

But the Riders have won nine of 11 games since that setback, including four in a row.

On Saturday, Dover will then play in the East Coast B-ball Showcase at Pemberton Township (N.J.) High. The Senators face Ewing, N.J. at 2:30 p.m.

Ewing is currently 8-0 although its matchup with Dover will be its fourth contest in five days.

Free throws

St. Thomas More hosts Milford today at 4 p.m. in an interesting nonconference girls’ matchup. The Ravens are 8-1 while the Buccaneers are 10-1. … Radio station Delaware 105.9-FM is planning to broadcast the CR-Woodbridge boys’ game on Friday. The contest is slated to start at 7:15 p.m. … Lake Forest’s boys have picked up a forfeit win over Seaford from earlier this season. Both teams are now 3-6 overall. … Both Woodbridge basketball teams are rolling along right now. The Raiders’ boys have won seven games in a row while the Woodbridge girls are on a five-game winning streak.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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