Strong second half leads Dover girls by CR 47-25

Dover girls basketball head coach Jahi Davenport.

CAMDEN — The visiting Dover High girls’ basketball team used an explosive second-half performance to cruise past Henlopen Conference northern division rival Caesar Rodney High, 47-25, Tuesday night.

The win puts the Senators (6-5) back above .500 and gives them the season sweep of the 3-10 Riders. Dover also defeated Caesar Rodney, 56-51, on Dec. 7.

Junior Tamyah Jones led the scoring with a game-high 15 points.

“Tamyah is a tough cookie,” said Dover coach Jahi Davenport. “As she goes, we go. There’s a couple of other players who are like that as well, but we try to rally behind her and rally behind the team.”

Junior Ally Manifold hit a trio of three-pointers for nine points, while sophomore Jasmine Starling added eight points for the Senators.

Senior Kerianne Smith scored all six of her points in the second half.

“Kerianne, she’s a walking triple-double as well,” said Davenport. “Tamyah and Kerianne are those two players who do the little things, those intangibles, that kind of get everyone else involved and everyone else can relax and do their job a little bit better.”

After just 14 first-half points, the Senators used a 22-point third quarter to spark the team’s offensive unit to the 22-point victory.

“We figured out that we weren’t communicating, and we needed to work together, so coach told us we need to get our head in the game and stop playing around,” Jones said. “We had to make shots, be in our place and communicate better.”

Both teams struggled offensively to open the game, missing open lay-ups and turning the ball over with physical and mental mistakes.
Caesar Rodney held a slim 10-6 advantage through the game’s first eight minutes.

The Senators trailed by six points, 12-6, early in the second quarter before Jones led the team on an 8-1 run in the last six and a half minutes of the half to take a narrow 14-13 lead into the halftime break.

“At halftime we just talked about being consistent and being confident in our shots,” said Davenport. “We’ve been struggling shooting the ball lately and we just had to break it down to basics and simple mechanics.

“Also, just going back out there and taking the pressure off them and going back to having fun and a love for the game.”

Behind a strong full-court press, Dover’s stout defense surrendered a combined 12 points in the third and fourth quarters, helping to orchestrate a 22-point third quarter in which five different players scored at least three points.

“When we started pressing them, they started to shut down a little bit, and it was like they couldn’t deal with the pressure,” said Jones. “We scored off that, and when we score it hypes us up to keep going.”

Ahead by nearly 20 points entering the fourth quarter, Dover tacked on 11 more points to earn the team’s second consecutive Henlopen North win by the double-digit margin.

Freshman Stacey Deputy scored a team-high nine points, with junior Lillian Ayers adding another seven points for the Riders.

“They played with a lot of heart, and they’re a young team, so they’re going to be dangerous in a couple years,” Davenport said of CR. “You could just tell that they’re growing into a nice bunch of young ladies, that’s going to be a tough team in the near future.”

After a stretch of three losses, including to a pair of tough Henlopen North foes Sussex Tech and Cape Henlopen, Davenport is hopeful for his Senators and happy to be in the win column two consecutive games.

“That was definitely a tough stretch. When those things happen, and you drop three, that’s when you really have to come together and realize that we have to be together as a team. We have to dig down, hone in and just don’t let everybody fall apart,” he said.

“When you go through a three-game losing streak things can start to splinter, but we did our best to just hold everything tight and make sure we get to the other side.”

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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