Smyrna falls to St. Georges 83-71, eyes Henlopen North schedule

Smyrna coach Andrew Mears. Delaware State News file photo

MIDDLETOWN — With a stretch of nonconference games in the rear-view mirror, the Smyrna High boys’ basketball team can turn its attention to a run of Henlopen Conference Northern Division games.

The Eagles know they have some work to do. And the hope is the tough out of conference games will have prepared them to tackle the challenge of getting back to a winning record.

Smyrna fell on the road to St. Georges on Friday night 83-71 in a nonconference matchup. The Eagles dropped to 3-6 overall and have lost their last three.

“We’re still trying to find a way to balance toughness and IQ,” said Smyrna coach Andrew Mears. “We’re juggling things. Sometimes we look pretty smart but can’t get results. Then at other times I feel like we’re going full speed without any direction. It’s a young group trying to figure it out but at some point we’ve got to be able to piece it together.”

After going 2-2 in Henlopen North games to start the season, Smyrna has lost four of its last five. The one win came over Howard on Dec. 18 before the Eagles dropped back-to-back games against out of state competition at the Governor’s Challenge in Salisbury, Md. over break.

Smyrna has six consecutive games against Henlopen North teams up next, starting Tuesday at Polytech (7 p.m.).

“At 3-6, we got to find a way to put a stamp on our season,” Mears said. “We’re ready for it.”

Smyrna was in the game against St. Georges (7-5) after the first quarter. The Eagles held an early lead and only trailed 13-10 at the end of the first.

But St. Georges scored 33 points in the second quarter to take a 44-29 advantage into the break.

The lead was at double digits for most of the second half and the closest Smyrna got was within 10 with 2:38 remaining. St. Georges answered with four unanswered points to seal it.

Smyrna was led by Nahshon Sylvester who netted 25 points. Izaiah Credle added 13 points while Brandon Smith also finished in double figures with 12 points.

St. Georges’ Nah’shon Hyland was the game’s top-scorer with 30 points. Hyland is a reigning first team All-Stater.

“It’s good experience playing against an All-Stater and some pieces that have a lot of varsity experience,” Mears said. “Even in a loss it can benefit us. But at the same time, at some point we’re no longer young so we’ve got to be able to get results even if it’s against a good team like St. Georges.”

Michael McCants scored 20 points for the Hawks who snapped a four-game skid, all of those defeats came against non-Delaware opponents. Tyrese Owens chipped in 11 points while Jaymyn Murphy netted 10 for St. Georges.

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