Team effort keys CR’s boys hoop win over Smyrna: Four Riders score in double figures for 70-65 North victory

Caesar Rodney’s Shaft Clark shoots an easy two pointer against Smyrna in the first quarter at Smyrna. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

SMYRNA — Each quarter, the Caesar Rodney High boys’ basketball team relied on someone different to spark the Riders on the offensive end.

And that’s how their coach likes it.

Four Riders scored in double figures as they held on 70-65 to earn a road victory at Smyrna High on Tuesday night in a Henlopen Conference Northern Division contest on Tuesday night.

CR has won eight of its last nine to improve to 9-2 overall and 6-1 in the Henlopen North.

“We can go 14 deep,” said CR senior Jaden Corbett. “No matter who we plug in, everybody can do their job and do it well.”

Caesar Rodney’s William Burke shoots against Smyrna’s Quadir Hunter. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

Smyrna had its two-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 5-7 overall and 4-3 in the Henlopen North.

Zayquan Eaton led the Riders with 18 points and Shaft Clark followed with 13. Corbett and Monroe Hite each netted 12 points apiece.

The Riders depth was called upon in the first half when Clark was whistled for his second foul with 3:16 left in the first quarter.
Clark, a reigning All-State player, sat for the remainder of the first quarter and the entire second quarter.

While the Riders trailed 17-16 at the end of the first quarter, they went on a run with Clark on the bench. CR took a 32-27 lead into halftime behind the inside scoring of Hite.

CR coach Freeman Williams wasn’t thrilled with the foul trouble on Clark, but knew the Riders had the players to make up for it.

Caesar Rodney’s Zayquan Eaton shoots against Smyrna.

“We always say the power is in the group and you have to be ready for your opportunity,” Williams said. “When the foul situation happened, we were able to put some stops together defensively and we were sharing the ball offensively and were able to go on a nice run.”

And when Clark did come back in, the Riders went to him often on offensive as he scored the first six points of the third quarter.

“Everybody knows their role and knows what to do when they have to,” Clark said. “We did the things we had to do to win. We just got to keep working.”

Caesar Rodney led for most of the second half but the Eagles were able to make it a one-possession game in the final minute.

Nahshon Sylvester’s three-pointer from the corner brought Smyrna within two points with 36 seconds left.

Caesar Rodney’s Kamal Marvel shoots against Smyrna’s Izaiah Credle.

The Eagles eventually found themselves down three points with 16 seconds to go. They came up empty on their next shot attempt and the ball was bounced out to halfcourt where CR grabbed it and was able to seal the win.

“Down the stretch we communicated as a team and we were strong with the ball,” Corbett said. “Then we went to the line at the end and made free throws. It’s definitely a good road win, on the road with a tough crowd and we came out with a victory,”

Smyrna had five players in double figures, led by Sylvester’s 18 points.

Ron Jackson added 15 points for the Eagles. Izaiah Credle, Brandon Smith and Olumuyiwa Salako each had 10 points.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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