Smyrna seniors get one last game together

 

St. Thomas More’s Alvin West drives to the basket during Tuesday night’s practice for the Blue-Gold All-Star Game held at Wesley College’s Wentworth Gym. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — Caleb Matthews isn’t going to lie.

Three days isn’t nearly enough time to wash away the pain of Smyrna High’s 60-49 loss to St. Elizabeth in the DIAA boys’ basketball state championship game on Saturday.

“Usually, during the season, it will take maybe a day or two (to get over a loss) because you’ve got another game,” said Matthews. “But this one still stings a little bit. I’m not sleeping well at night, either.

“It’s something that’s going to be with me for a little bit. But, in the end, it is what it is. You’ve got to get over it.”

On Saturday, one week after that loss in the state finals, Matthews will be back on the Carpenter Center court for the Blue-Gold All-Star Game.

The girls’ contest is set for 1 p.m. with the boys’ game slated to begin at 3:30 p.m. The event benefits Best Buddies Delaware.

Smyrna High’s Greg Bloodsworth (left) and Caleb Matthews have known each other since they were in third grade. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Smyrna teammate Greg Bloodsworth, who will be joining Matthews in the Gold backcourt, knows how he feels, of course. Saturday’s state-final loss was unexpected for the defending state champion Eagles.

“It was tough for both of us,” said Bloodsworth. “We hugged each other in the locker room and talked to each other after the game. We wish we could have done more to win but things happen.”

Still, Saturday’s loss notwithstanding, this past season was one that Bloodsworth and Matthews will remember for a long time.

The two seniors have been friends since they were in third grade and started playing against each other in basketball camps. But Matthews was home-schooled until high school while Bloodsworth went to St. Thomas More for the last three seasons.

So the fact that they finally got to play together for the first time meant a lot for the two. That they helped lead the Eagles to a 22-4 record, a Henlopen Conference title and a trip to the state championship game was the icing on the cake.

“You can’t ask for anything else really,” said Bloodsworth. “I played my last season with him. It was fun.”

“No matter the circumstances of how it ended, I wouldn’t trade it for the world — him coming here and playing his senior year with me,” said Matthews. “Even though the outcome wasn’t what we wanted, it was still fun.

“It was nobody’s fault,” he said about Saturday’s loss. “Everybody made mistakes in that game. We’ll go out here (on Saturday) and just have fun playing basketball one more time together.”

Robinson excited about opportunity: Caesar Rodney’s Davione Robinson had his own difficult finish to his high school career.


Caesar Rodney’s Davione Robinson goes up for a shot during the Gold’s practice session. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

He and the Riders fell to William Penn, 47-43, in the second round of the state tournament.

“It was very tough,” said Robinson. “It’s my senior year — no more playing high school ball.”

The tourney loss kept Robinson and his teammates from getting to play in the Carpenter Center in the quarterfinals. He’s proud to be representing CR in the Blue-Gold game.

“It shows that we’ve got talent,” said Robinson. “I just want to get to play there (in the Carpenter Center), experience it.”

West gets second chance, too: For St. Thomas More’s Alvin West, Saturday’s all-star game will be a chance for him to play in the Carpenter Center one last time.

The senior helped the Ravens reach the state quarterfinals as a sophomore and the state semifinals as a junior.

St. Thomas More also made the state tourney again this season despite having a rebuilt roster. It’s been the small Magnolia’s most successful basketball run ever.

A Smyrna resident, West went to school with Bloodsworth as a youngster while Mike Starkey — now the Lake Forest coach — was his middle-school gym teacher. Starkey is an assistant to Woodbridge’s Julius Cannon, the Gold head coach.

“It brings back memories — playing outside on the courts every day at camp,” said West. “I’m thankful just to be here and for everybody that believed in me.”

Free throws

Today is the Blue-Gold’s ‘Dover Day’ event. The players and coaches will visit Legislative Hall and meet Gov. John Carney … The Blue-Gold banquet is slated for Thursday evening at Delaware Tech.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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