Sports

Tripple Overtime: Oh, really, Obama?

I don’t usually bring up politics. Partly because this is a sports column, but mostly because I twice failed “Introduction to American Politics and Government” during my one-year stint at community college. In my defense, I didn’t go to class very often because I was busy surfing, which is a sport, and considering that I’m now a sports reporter, I’d say it all worked out for the best.

Lady Indians romp over Red Lion, snap losing streak

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark :  Freshman guard Kealey Allison sends a pass to senior Faythe Wise in Tuesday's 44-23 win vs. Red Lion.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Freshman guard Kealey Allison sends a pass to senior Faythe Wise in Tuesday's 44-23 win vs. Red Lion.The Indian River High School girls basketball team was riding a three-game losing streak heading into Tuesday night’s matchup against Red Lion but turned things around with a convincing 44-23 win, to improve to 2-3 on the season.

“I think, the last couple games, it’s been an eye-opener for us. Coming out of the Tech game, we had some expectations,” explained Head Coach Matt Mayette regarding the team’s one-point loss to Sussex Tech earlier this season.

“These teams that we’ve been playing, they’re beatable,” added senior point guard Taylor Billinger. “We [had to] bounce back from those losses.”

The Lady Indians jumped out to a 12-0 lead by the end of the first quarter against Red Lion, spreading out the scoring with buckets from six different players early on. Eight different players would put up points by the end of the game — five of them underclassmen, including sophomore guards Maddie McGee and Maggie Ford, and freshmen guards Kealey Allison and Fabrea McCray, and freshman center Latayja Atkins.

“We’ve got some underclassmen that can really handle the ball,” Billinger said of the youth infusion. “They can really handle the pressure of the game.”

“The future is so bright,” Mayette added of the young roster.

By the end of the third quarter, the Lady Indians led 30-7, before Mayette began filtering in some junior varsity players and Red Lion went on a late scoring run.

Controversial fourth-quarter call seals win for Ravens

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark  : Senior guard Kei Juan ‘Skeeter’ Major goes up against Sussex Tech freshman forward Randy Rickards in last Tuesday's matchup. Major finished with 34 points on the night.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Senior guard Kei Juan ‘Skeeter’ Major goes up against Sussex Tech freshman forward Randy Rickards in last Tuesday's matchup. Major finished with 34 points on the night.The student section of the stands was fired up at Indian River High School last Tuesday, as Henlopen North powerhouse Sussex Tech narrowly escaped the Indians with a 68-62 win in a game that went down to the wire and, ultimately, was decided by a foul call in the final minute.

“I can’t be mad. I’m proud of our guys. They fought,” said Indian River Head Coach Mike Fabber of his team’s effort. “They never put their heads down. They never stopped. We just kept saying ‘one play.’”

Despite trailing the Ravens the entire game, Indian River was never out of contention, coming back from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit and bridging the gap to just two points nearing the end of the game.

Down 58-46, it was senior guard Kei Juan “Skeeter” Major who sparked the scoring comeback with a behind-the-back pass to his brother, junior guard KiAnté Sturgis, who finished the play and cut the Tech lead to 10.

After another Sturgis score, Major would draw a foul and hit both shots before stealing the ensuing inbounds pass and laying it up to pull the Indians within four points. Senior Da’Von Justice would notch a steal on the next Ravens possession, and Major would score yet again, to make it 58-56, before Tech finally ended the Indians’ 10-point run at the line.

With the Ravens leading 63-57 with time running out, Major would come through in the clutch for the Indians, draining a three-pointer and then coming up with a steal that he took to the net that would have made it a one-point game. However, a questionable foul call negated the play and all but sealed the win for the Ravens.

“They’re veteran-led. They have senior leadership. They’ve been in these games,” said Fabber of Tech’s performance on the night. “Our guys answered, and [their] guys answered. Both teams, their leadership showed up tonight and both teams played hard enough to win the game.”

Major led the Indians in scoring on the night, with 34 points.

Surfin’ Snoman returning to Bethany after successful first year

Coastal Point • Submitted  : Blake Hundley looks to jump out in front at the start of last year's Surfin' Snowman five-miler held in Bethany Beach.Coastal Point • Submitted : Blake Hundley looks to jump out in front at the start of last year's Surfin' Snowman five-miler held in Bethany Beach.After seeing nearly 700 participants and raising more than $7,000 in charitable donations last year, the Surfin’ Snowman 5-miler and Santa’s Helper 2-miler will be back in Bethany on Dec. 27, looking for similar success.

“Our registration numbers right now are up from where they were last year,” said Race Director Rick Hundley of the race being presented by Miken Builders. “We had just under 700 people last year register for a first-year event, so we were very happy with that. Last year, we were able to give each one of [the beneficiaries] $3,500. For a first-year event, that’s pretty impressive.”

The proceeds from this year’s race will again be donated to the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company and Justin’s Beach House, two organizations that rely on charity dollars to operate.

“They’re 100-percent volunteer organizations,” explained Hundley.

The Justin W. Jennings organization maintains Justin’s Beach House in Bethany, a home designed to allow families impacted by cancer to enjoy quality time together at the beach.

Can they kick it? Yes, they can

Coastal Point • Submitted  : ESSC's U14 girls team finished second in the VA Rush Atlantic Cup recently after falling 4-3 in a PK shootout in the championship game. Coastal Point • Submitted : ESSC's U14 girls team finished second in the VA Rush Atlantic Cup recently after falling 4-3 in a PK shootout in the championship game. Prior to the formation of the Eastern Shore Soccer Club, youth soccer talent was scattered throughout the local area and struggled to compete against teams from across the bridge and beyond.

Just a few months after the club’s inception, however, they’ve already seen staggering success, with eight tournament championships and 12 finalists between the club’s 16 teams.

“[It] proves what a great job all the area clubs do with their individual youth programs,” said Harry Anderson, founder of Eastern Shore Soccer Club. “This immediate success comes from receiving players from clubs that are structured, that have volunteers, parents and players that are committed to the programs they offer.”

ESSC was formed this past summer, after Anderson — who also coaches one of the teams — suggested the idea to area coaches and found it well-received.

“In years past, there were only one or two soccer clubs in this area,” explained Anderson. “When they [would] travel they [would] have a tough time beating teams from across the bridge because the players [were] all split up. We went to each club, told them what we were trying to do, and now it’s growing.”

Camp Barnes Wrestling Classic set for Dec. 27

The 3rd Annual Camp Barnes Wrestling Classic will be held on Saturday, Dec. 27, at Sussex Central High School in Georgetown, with wrestling beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Tripple Overtime: Ten things I learned about Bali

Well, 62 hours of traveling, one broken board (thanks a lot, American Airlines), one gnarly scar from hitting the reef on my second day, and about 100 Bintangs later I’m right back in good old Sussex County and ready for basketball season.

Indians win OT thriller, behind Major’s 42

Coastal Point • Aaron Mushrush  : Shaquille Hall attempts a free throw in the tightly contested second half. Hall finished with 10 points.Coastal Point • Aaron Mushrush : Shaquille Hall attempts a free throw in the tightly contested second half. Hall finished with 10 points.

The Indian River Indians’ Boys’ Basketball team kicked off the 2014-2015 season in what has become typical Indian River fashion— tons of excitement, aggressive defense and, of course, the dramatic finish in an 80-77 overtime victory against Lake Forest.

The Indians showed they are a force to be reckoned with in the Henlopen South in more ways than one, with the senior debut of Kei Juan “Skeeter” Major being one to remember and a depth-rich rotation put on display when four of the Indians key players fouled out and the younger players stepped up to help in the victory.

The game was big for both the Indians, opening their season, and the Spartans, already 0-1, and the atmosphere was reflective of an early season big game. Major, who flashed signs of brilliance with the ball in his hand last year, began the contest on a bit of a cold streak, but played through those early misses and keept his team as level as possible.

The Indians ended the first quarter down 16-13, but they were able to even the score up at 31 heading into the half, with Major scoring 10 of his 42 points in the second quarter to get his team started. Fellow senior Shaquille “Shaq” Hall and junior Kiante’ Sturgis each chipped in 8 points in the first half to help keep the score even.

Lady Indians open with win

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark  : Billinger attempts a lay-up in Tuesday night's game against Lake Forest earning two of her season high 18 points in the contest.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Billinger attempts a lay-up in Tuesday night's game against Lake Forest earning two of her season high 18 points in the contest.

Indian River kicked off the 2014-2015 girls’ basketball season with the Inaugural Indian River Tip-Off Classic, and a home victory against longtime-rival Delmar.

The Lady Indians won the game 30-26, led by Taylor Billinger’s 14 points, and moved to 1-0 in the Henlopen South.

Coach Mayette was pleased with his girls’ effort in the victory and spoke of how it feels to get the first win in the first game of the season.

“It feels fantastic,” said Mayett. “It’s nice that we’re way ahead of where we were last year — it’s a huge benefit to bring back some of the seniors and some great leadership, so it was a big advantage for us in that game.”

The Lady Indians played tough, hard-nosed defense, both in the paint and outside on the perimeter to force several key turnovers and secure the rivalry win.

“We really started to force a lot of turnovers and I think we took advantage of that, especially with our penetration and our looks,” said Mayette. “You know we’re not always looking to dribble through, but when we do look to dribble and penetrate good things start to happen, like it did in the second half.”

Much of that ballhandling was done by Billinger, who drew the double-, and sometimes triple-team, freeing her teammates.

“Billinger always stand out for us, you know she is just a lot of the times the best player on the floor and when she really applies herself, you know we have a great chance of winning,” Mayette said of his senior leader.

Indian River swimmers battle Caesar Rodney

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: : Vance Atkins dives into the pool with perfect form and an illusionist twin.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: : Vance Atkins dives into the pool with perfect form and an illusionist twin.Tuesday night marked the beginning of the swimming season for the Indian River Indians, as both the boys’ and girls’ teams took on traditional powerhouse Cesar Rodney in Georgetown at Howard T. Ennis. Indian River had one of, if not the, best seasons in program history last season, however, they graduated several record-setting swimmers and needed to measure the new team against a formidable foe.

There were several bright spots for both Indian River teams, as they posted several state-qualifying times in the first meet of the year, came from behind in some races, and went stroke for stroke with some of the best swimmers in the state. But it was not enough, as the two Cesar Rodney squads came away with the victory and began their season 1-0 with the boys’ team winning 111-55, and the girls’ team winning 95-71.

Coach Colin Crandel was upbeat of his teams’ efforts and made it clear that although it is a swim “team,” the group results are not as important as individual times and improvement.

Camp Barnes Wrestling Classic set for Dec. 27

The 3rd Annual Camp Barnes Wrestling Classic will be held on Saturday, Dec. 27, at Sussex Central High School in Georgetown, with wrestling beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Sports tournament could be a real ‘Slam Dunk’

A major basketball tournament could boost community morale and business, an organizer told the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce. Slam Dunk to the Beach will be revived this December at Cape Henlopen High School, giving southern Delaware a taste of wintertime sports tourism.

The season ahead for Henlopen South wrestling

Indian River
Coach: Jeff Windish
Previous: 6-7
Predicted: 7-6

Our crystal ball for the Henlopen Conference girls’ basketball season

Indian River
Coach: Matt Mayette
Previous: 6-14
Predicted: 12-8
Tournament: Yes, first round
Key Players: Maggie Allison, Faythe Wise, Patrina Bratton, Taylor Billinger