Senators fall to powerful Sanford 77-59 at Slam Dunk

LEWES — Sanford School scored its fair share of tough shots against Dover High on Sunday.

But the Warriors had plenty of easy looks from the foul line.

Sanford’s Mikey Dixon and Jacob Walsh combined for 59 points as Dover fell 77-59 to Sanford on the first day of the Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament hosted by Cape Henlopen High.

The Warriors shot 42 free throws with Dixon alone hitting 15-of-18 attempts from the line. Meanwhile Do-ver made just 12 of its 19 attempts (63 percent).

Dixon ended with 39 points – a Slam Dunk tournament single-game record since it was reestablished last year. Walsh added 20 points for Sanford (2-1).

“There’s no way you can win a basketball game when you give up 42 free throws,” said Dover coach Ste-phen Wilson. “We’ve got to keep teams out of the paint and we’ve got to guard some people. We’ve got to defend and we’ve got to stop fouling.”

The Warriors took a 9-0 lead after the first five possessions and were up by double digits for most of the second half.

Dover (3-3) used an 18-8 run in the second half to finally pull within eight at 62-54 on Jordan Allen’s three with 4:24 left. But then fouls again hurt the Senators.

Michael Douglas, Dover’s leading scorer on the night with 13 points, fouled out with 4:10 remaining. The Dover bench was then assigned a technical for protesting the call.

That led to four consecutive free throws makes by Sanford. Once the ball was inbounded Dixon was fouled while dribbling and converted another pair of free throws to give Sanford a 68-54 lead.

Allen, Dover’s top scorer this year and a Rider University commit, fouled out on the next possession. Dover’s starting center Terrence Woodlin also fouled out of the game.

“We came out slow against a great team,” Douglas said. “We didn’t come out strong and let them get a big lead.”

This was the first game Sanford had played against a Delaware opponent this season.

“Dover is one of the top programs in the state so it was a good chance for us to make a statement,” said Sanford coach Stan Waterman.

Waterman credited the Warriors’ strong defense on Allen as one of the main reasons for the victory.

All three of Allen’s made three-pointers came in the fourth quarter. Sanford held him to only three field goal attempts in the first half as the Warriors raced out to a 30-19 lead.

“He’s one of the best shooters I’ve seen in high school basketball so we wanted to crowd his space,” Waterman said. “I thought we did a great job of that and making him put it on the floor.”

Steven Justice was the other Senator in double figures with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

Not only was Dover whistled for 28 fouls, the Senators turned the ball over 18 times as Sanford recorded 13 steals.

“We’ve got to start seizing moments,” Wilson said. “We’re not possessing the basketball as we should right now. We’re getting away from the little things. We can’t worry about the big things we have to worry about the little things.”

“We’re definitely going to learn a lot from this loss,” Douglas said. “We shouldn’t have come out as soft as we did and we’re going to have to pick it up. I’d rather have to learn now than in the playoffs.”

Dover plays its final game of the tournament today at 3 p.m. against Friendship Collegiate Academy of Washington D.C.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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