Indians slip past Seaford to keep state tournament hopes alive
Coming off a deflating 83-59 loss to Stephen Decatur last Monday, Feb. 17, the Indian River High School boys’ basketball team rebounded with a 66-64 win against Seaford on Tuesday, Feb. 18, to keep their state tournament hopes alive.
Senior forward Jaevon Holland put up a team-high 17 points for the Indians in what was an uncharacteristically low-scoring game for two typically high-scoring teams.
“Every time we play these guys, it’s a war,” said head coach Mike Fabber after the game. “Both coaches know each other real well. Both teams are pressing teams — both teams tried not to press today.”
Holland also pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds and added five steals and a block defensively. “We played a hard game. We played our hearts out,” he stated. “We know what type of team we are.”
Opposite Holland, senior forward London Tucker racked up 16 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and two blocks. And, even more importantly, the Indians’ big men continued to improve their on-court chemistry — continually finding each other under the net, time after time.
“Me and London talk after games,” Holland explained of the reason behind their improved give-and-take. “We talk about how we can better ourselves on the court.”
“What we have is very athletic bigs, and they’re very scrappy,” said Fabber. “Tucker wasn’t starting at the beginning of the year — he won that starting job because of how hard he works.”
Junior guard Shaquille Hall also played a key role in a game that went down to the wire, forcing three turnovers in the third quarter alone.
Hall was clutch at the foul line in the last two minutes, giving the Indians a 63-60 lead with 1:22 left in the game. Seaford answered quickly, to pull back within one, and went up 64-63 before Hall drew a foul driving to the hoop and hit the foul shot — giving IR a 66-64 lead with 18 seconds left. The game ended with a rebound from Holland with two seconds left, to seal the victory.
“This is what Shaq can do,” Fabber said of Hall’s clutch performance. “The second half was huge. He did exactly what the team needed to win the game.”
The win potentially keeps the Indians’ state tournament hopes alive, but outcomes of other games will ultimately play a role in their fate. Indian River was set to face Moyer Academy for senior night and their last game of the regular season on Wednesday, Feb. 19, (after Coastal Point press time), and the Woodbridge vs. Seaford game on the same day will also have an influence.
To stay up to take with DIAA tournament information, visit www.facebook.com/coastalpointsportsnews or follow @CPointSports on Twitter.