The Indian River varsity boys basketball team registered their third victory in seven days, as they defeated Seaford 63-53, Feb. 9 in a crucial push towards the playoffs.
Indian River sought to avenge a 61-51 defeat versus Seaford earlier in the season.
“Last time we shot too many jump shots and they were able to convert. They are a disciplined, well-coached basketball team that shares the ball well,” said head coach Pat Kelly.
Indian River made certain that they didn’t make the same mistake in the rematch as they aggressively attacked the basket, notching a high shooting percentage.
“Bailey and Sturgis have done a great job attacking the basket on both ends of the court lately,” said Kelly. Sturgis and Bailey have averaged 19.6 and 17.6 points, respectively, over the past three games. Sturgis’ quickness and Bailey’s toughness around the basket have proven to be a great one-two combination.
While Bailey and Sturgis have commanded the most attention lately, credit must also go to the balanced play of forward Travis Irving and point guard Therman Hagans.
“Travis has been very active defensively, and he hit a clutch three-pointer versus Sussex Tech. “Therman’s our floor general and he sets the tempo,” said Kelly.
Hagans tallied 12 points, 3 assists and 2 steals in their big win over Sussex Tech on Feb. 5, but dazzled the crowd with his unselfish play versus Seaford, as he scored 5 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, stole 2 passes and doled out 9 assists.
Irving is averaging a shade less than 10 points a game while pulling down 5 boards and aggressively pursuing the ball defensively. Versus Seaford, Irving dished several no-look passes to teammates for uncontested baskets. Irving also picked up the slack on offense, scoring 15 points in Indian River’s blowout 62-40 victory over Lake Forest Feb. 4.
The Indians center freshman Jeremy Purnell has maintained a physical presence in the paint, blocking about 4 shots a game, but mishandled passes have limited Purnell’s scoring opportunities. Purnell’s ability to alter shots forced Seaford players into several first half turnovers, and he has averaged 8.6 points and 6 rebounds in Indian River’s three-game win streak.
Indian River’s win over Sussex Tech gives the Indians a 3-2 record versus the bigger northern Henlopen Conference teams. Woodbridge limps into town Feb. 11 after winning only one of their past six games and getting outscored almost two-to-one, at 464-272. At 11-6, Indian River looks to keep up the momentum against Woodbridge.