Indians romp over Blue Jays 54-32 in division win

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: IR senior forward Maggie Ford goes up for a layup during Tuesday's win over Seaford.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: IR senior forward Maggie Ford goes up for a layup during Tuesday's win over Seaford.The Indian River High School girls’ basketball team made it back-to-back division wins on Tuesday, Jan. 24, taking down Seaford 54-32.

“Today I told the girls before the game that, for us to have an opportunity to win this, we needed to hold Seaford to 30,” said IR head coach Donna Polk after the game. “They got 32, so that’s kind of where we needed to be in order to control the tempo of the game.”

Coming off a 39-36 win over Woodbridge on Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Indians started off hot in their matchup against the Blue Jays when junior guard Fabrea McCray knocked down a shot from beyond the arch to make it 3-0.

Two more lay-ins from McCray and senior forward Maggie Ford would put the Indians up 7-0 before Seaford could answer, closing the gap to 9-7. IR junior guard Trayona Nock then answered the call to put the Indians back up 11-7, on their way to a 20-11 lead at halftime.

Ford would get the second half started in similar fashion when she found sophomore center Julia Jordan down low to make it 26-11, with Jordan making it 28-11 on the next possession after pulling down a rebound and finding the net.

Jordan would finish the game with a career-high double-double, posting 19 points and 17 rebounds in the matchup.

“It’s really cool. I’m really happy about it, but I’m going to keep working hard at practice,” Jordan said of the career performance. “The coaches have been helping us through everything. They’re always on us at practice. After practice and games, we always talk about what happened and what we can do next time.”

“Julia’s working each quarter on getting rebounds, getting in position and blocking shots,” added Polk. “We’re trying to get them all to take ownership of their ability.”

After back-to-back buckets from Jordan, senior guard Madi McGee kept the Indians rolling when she managed a steal and took it all the way back to the other end for a score, to make it 28-11.

While Seaford would end the run after that, the lead would be too much for them to overcome as IR began to filter in some younger depth players in the fourth quarter. Behind Jordan’s 19, junior forward Braydee Whitman put up 11 points, with Ford not far off and finishing with nine.

“We were proud of all the girls who got in. Some of the girls who don’t always get to play went in, so that was really exciting for everyone,” said Jordan after the game. “Everybody was happy with themselves about how they played tonight.”

The win improved the Indians’ record to 7-5 overall on the season and 6-3 in the Henlopen South division.

More importantly to Polk, however, the game was the best team effort that’s she’s seen since taking over the reins at the beginning of the 2015-2016 season.

“They’re executing; they’re starting to believe. Today was a total team effort. We’re starting to actually play basketball,” she explained. “We didn’t have as many turnovers as we normally do. We still had too many in the second half, but they’re understanding and recognizing things a little bit more.”

While the playoffs could be in the conversation by the end of the season, Polk said that her squad wasn’t getting too far ahead of themselves, instead opting to continuing working on fundamentals and taking things one game at a time.

The Indians were set to hit the road on Friday, Jan. 27, at Delmar, and Monday, Jan. 30, at Salisbury School, before hosting Cape Henlopen on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 5:15 p.m. for Military Appreciation Night.

Game stats:

Points: J. Jordan (19), B. Whitman (11), M. Ford (9), T. Nock (6), F. McCray (5), M. McGee (4)