Indians struggle to find consistency, competitive drive


It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions the past couple of weeks for the Indian River High School boys’ basketball team.

Coming off the high of senior Jamier Felton’s 1,000th career-point accomplishment at the Governor’s Challenge, and then a solid 69-31 win over Sussex Academy on Jan. 3, the Indians were hoping to build off that momentum.

However, back-to-back disappointing efforts against Woodbridge and Milford have the Indians digging deeper into a hole that could be too difficult to crawl out of if they had any aspirations of a post-season berth in the state playoffs.

Against the Blue Raiders, the Indians battled tough over the first eight minutes of action but found themselves on the short end of a 29-18 score at the halftime intermission. IR would be out-scored 39-21 in the second half for the deciding margin of defeat.

Then came the contest with a strong Milford squad on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

One word can only describe this one… U-G-L-Y.

The Buccaneers outscored the Indians by 61 points, 94-33.

“We just have not competed the past two games. It’s very disappointing,” IR head coach B.J. Joseph said.

Zion Mason and Luke Weber were the leading scorers for the Indians, with each recording eight points in the loss.

It’s an even bigger disappointment considering how well the Indians played in their rout of Sussex Academy last week. In that game, 11 different players got into the scoring action against the Seagulls, with Michael Meehan leading the way with 15 points. Felton added 10 markers in the winning effort.

And it doesn’t get any easier for the Indians with the opponents on their horizon. Their saving grace could be that their next five games are all at home.

IR was set for a rematch with Lake Forest on Thursday, Jan. 10, (after Coastal Point press time, with the results to be posted to the Coastal Point sports Facebook and Twitter pages). Back on Dec. 21, the Spartans defeated the Indians, 74-34.

They also have contests against Sussex Central (Jan. 15), Laurel (Jan. 17), Woodbridge (Jan. 22) and Cape Henlopen (Jan. 24) in this home stand. All games start at 6:15 p.m.

Felton’s big mark celebrated

Indian River this week honored Felton for his 1,000th career-point milestone following a basket in the third quarter of the game against Sussex Academy.

The game was briefly delayed as they presented him with a specially painted ball commemorating the event, while family and friends took pictures of the occasion.

“I’ve been telling my mom ever since Coach Joseph told me I was gonna be his starting point guard that I would score 1,000 points,” Felton recalled. “She told me to go for it, and to just keep my mind straight. I had older guys talking junk about me, telling me I wasn’t ready for the varsity level, and I just used that as motivation. This means a lot for me.”

 

By Jason Feather

Point Reporter