Lady Indians down Delmar, fall to Central
The Indian River High School girls’ basketball team split games last week, hanging on in a tight game against Delmar for a 39-37 win last Friday before falling to Henlopen North power house Sussex Central, 70-35, on Tuesday night.
“It was an exciting game. We kind of had a big advantage early on, and they came back and made it into a tight game,” said head coach Matt Mayette after last Friday’s win. “Our girls responded really well.”
Junior point guard Taylor Billinger led the Lady Indians in scoring against the Lady Wildcats, with 19 points, three of which came from knocking down a three-pointer. Freshman guard Maggie Ford also hit a shot from beyond the arch in that matchup, and junior guard Maggie Allison added nine points of her own after switching positions.
“Maggie [Allison] is in more of a shooting guard role,” Mayette noted. “She was the biggest facilitator for us [against Delmar]. She was trying to get herself into the paint and draw defense and create opportunities for her teammates, which was huge for us.”
“I think the team realized that we had to pick it up and come together as a team and get it done,” said Allison. “It could have gone downhill, and it didn’t.”
Their second win of the year against Delmar put the Lady Indians at 6-7 on the season.
“We knew they were going to come in inspired and ready to play us,” said Mayette. “It’s hard to beat a team twice.”
Tuesday’s game against Top 10-ranked Sussex Central started off slow, down 25-2, but the girls rallied back behind Billinger’s hot hand to make it competitive.
“In the first quarter, it was 25-2,” Mayette said, to put it in perspective. “And 45-33 was [the score for] the last three quarters for us. We came out in the first six minutes, and we had no intensity. We talked about being the initiator of contact. We wanted to come out here and be physical and competitive. After our second timeout, we really started to do that.”
Billinger led the Lady Indians in scoring in Tuesday’s matchup, as well, notching 20 points, including three shots from three-point range.
“She was on fire,” said Mayette. “She was making everything.”
“They were a lot bigger than us,” said Billinger of one of the better teams in the state. “After the second half, I think we had a really good quarter. Keeping each other positive and working hard so we could keep scoring is all we could do.”
The girls were set to face Milford on Thursday, Feb. 6, (after Coastal Point press time), and will host Lake Forest on Friday, Feb. 7, at 3:30 p.m., and Woodbridge on Monday, Feb. 10, at 6 p.m., for Senior Night.
“When you work as a team everything runs smoothly,” Billinger said of the young team’s progression. “We’ve learned to work better with each other, so it’s easier.”