The Smyrna Eagles remained undefeated in boys’ basketball, but it wasn’t easy as they faced a spirited challenge Wednesday from the Dover Senators in a 41-38 win.
The Senators held the Eagles scoreless for the first four minutes of the game as the two defenses dominated the first quarter with the two tied at 6-6.
Neither team led by more than three points in the 2nd quarter with Smyrna taking a 17-16 lead at the half. Elisha Gregory paced the Eagles with 7 points, while Dover sophomore Jaheim Harrell led all scorers with 10 at the break.
Smyrna started the third quarter on an 11-2 run to take the largest lead of the game at 28-18 as Elijah Credle and Olumuyiwa Salako converted baskets in the paint.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 11)
Dover would not quit, as sophomores Amir Hite and Dymear Yelverton helped ignite a rally in the final two minutes of the third quarter and the opening two minutes of the fourth to cut the Smyrna lead to just two points at 30-28.
The rest of the game stayed close.
Smyrna senior Robert Wiley grabbed an offensive rebound and put-back to push the margin to 5 points with 3:06 left. Dover responded with Hite converting a one-and-one opportunity and Yelverton draining a short jumper to cut the lead to one point at 39-38 with 1:51 to play.
However, those would be the final points the Senators would score. Credle penetrated the lane for a layup to put Smyrna up 41-38 with: 37 left in the game.
The Senators had one final shot but Harrell’s deep-corner 3-point attempt rimmed out at the buzzer.
Harrell led all Dover scorers with 14 points, with Yelverton adding 10 including two 3-pointers. Smyrna received 12 points from Salako and Gregory tallied 10, while Credle scored all 8 of his points in the second half.
Smyrna improves to 7-0 while Dover falls to 4-2. These two will meet again Feb. 25 at Dover to close out the regular season.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience.
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