Sussex Tech girls win 58-34 nonconference battle over Hodgson

Senior guard Arnaisa Taylor, Sussex Tech’s leading scorer with 16 points, scans the court for an open teammate. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

GEORGETOWN — Heading into Sussex Tech High’s girls basketball showdown against Hodgson Vo-Tech High Saturday afternoon, Ravens coach Justin Davis knew it would be a physical battle.

Sussex Tech earned the 58-34 nonconference win over the Silver Eagles in what turned out to be one of the most rough and physical games his Tech team has played all season.

“They’re a really physical team, a really aggressive team, and of course they have Kayla [Braxton-Young] who has been scoring 28 a game this year. She’s a really, really good player,” Davis said.

“We talked to our girls the last couple days leading up to this and said it wasn’t going to be a girls’ game, it was going to be a women’s game.”

Senior guard Arnaisa Taylor led the scoring with 16 points for the Ravens (8-3). Senior forward Mi’Cah Shelton added 12 points and senior point guard Airelle Parker contributed 11 points.

Senior guard Camille Scott drives to the basket during the first half of Sussex Tech’s win over Hodgson.

“It was a team effort,” said Taylor. “All the open looks I got were from the team. We knew this was going to be a hard game, they’re a physical team, so we just brought the energy.”

Braxton-Young put up 17 points for the Silver Eagles (9-3), but Tech’s stifling defense kept Hodgson to under 40 points for just the second time all season.

It was Hodgson’s first loss since Dec. 20, snapping a six-game win streak.

“I’ve been here eight years, it’s my second as head coach, and I’m as proud of our girls for this game as I have been of any win here,” said Davis. “Both the outcome against a ranked team as good as this one and also just the way we composed ourselves and kept our heads on when there was a lot of physical stuff out there.”

When Tech visited the Silver Eagles last year they lost a close-knit 48-42 battle, but Davis feels they could have won that game had they not dug themselves in a 21-6 hole through the first eight minutes.

“In the first quarter last year it was 21-6 them,” he said. “We didn’t show up physically, we weren’t ready to compete, and we talked a lot about that in the lead-up to this game. They got tired of hearing me this week pointing out the first quarter last year.”

Freshman guard Sierra Troyer, who scored eight points in Tech’s win, dribbles past a Hodgson defender on her way to the basket on Saturday.

Tech held a slim 9-5 lead at the end of the opening quarter and had just a three-point advantage, 16-13, halfway through the second quarter before Taylor propelled the Ravens to nearly a double-digit halftime lead.

Taylor scored seven of the team’s last nine points of the half as Tech went on a 9-3 run in the final 2:26 of the half to jump out in front, 25-16, at the halftime break.

Tech’s defense limited Hodgson to just a pair of Braxton-Young buckets in the third, out-scoring the Silver Eagles 18-4 in the quarter.

The Ravens used the fourth quarter to give reserves, such as sophomore Shaniya Godwin and junior Tiara Wilson, some valuable playing time as the team cruised to the 24-point win.

Freshman guard Sierra Troyer finished with eight points, including six in the fourth quarter. Senior guard Camille Scott scored all four of her points in the first quarter.

After suffering through early-season injuries and starting out 2-2 through the first four games of the season, Davis believes his team is finally healthy and is hitting their stride.

“We’re finally getting healthy,” he said. “We’ve had so many players miss games. You don’t like it when you’re going through it, but if you make it out of the other end and, knock on wood, we stay healthy then we’re better for it.”

The Ravens have won six of the last seven games since that 2-2 start in early December.

“Our team chemistry was already there, so now that everybody’s healthy we’re ready to go. We’re back and we’re better,” said Taylor.

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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