Dover basketball Nahseem Cosme L and Denim Perkins R trap Smyrna basketball Marice Kilgoe C photo courtesy of Ben Fulton

Pressure defense keys Dover’s win over Smyrna

Glenn FrazerHeadlines, Sports

Dover basketball Nahseem Cosme L and Denim Perkins R trap Smyrna basketball Marice Kilgoe C photo courtesy of Ben Fulton


The Dover Senators used a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter to pull away from Smyrna Tuesday night in boys basketball action. With 6:17 left in the game, the Eagles O-B Coleman scored on a breakaway dunk to cut Dover’s lead to 43-40, but he was pulled from the game when he committed his fourth personal foul seconds earlier. That’s when Dover proceeded to score the next 13 unanswered points, forcing several turnovers with full-court pressure. When Coleman came back in the game, the Senators had a comfortable 56-40 lead with 3:00 to go.

Dover opened the game by scoring the first 10 points, but Smyrna cut the deficit to 16-11 at the end of the first quarter. In what would become a theme, Dover raced out to early advantages in each of the four quarters only to watch the Eagles come storming back. Smyrna grabbed its only lead of the night late in the second quarter 27-26 as Coleman passed to Ryan Jones for an easy basket. The lead was short-lived, when less than 20 seconds later, Dorrell Little scored to put the Senators back in front 28-27 at the half. Dover would never trail again.

The third quarter began just like the previous two as Dover took a lead of 37-29. Fueling the start were two big plays. Dorrell Little converted the “and-one” and Jayvion Dennis drained a three pointer in the run. Once again, the Eagles stormed back to trail 41-38 going into the final quarter. Coleman scored 6 points to pace Smyrna in the third quarter, and Logan Shaw “nailed” a long range jumper when the team needed a “lift”.

Early in the fourth quarter, Coleman picked up his 4th foul. Following a missed foul shot, he broke down the floor for the “emphatic” dunk. Smyrna coach Andrew Mears immediately called a time out and sat Coleman for the next three minutes. The hope was, they could protect Coleman while keeping the game close. Dover dominated those 3:00 pushing the lead to 56-40 with a “suffocating” full court press. Jayvion Dennis scored 8 of his team-high 16 points in that final quarter, including his third 3-point make of the game.

Dover head coach Stephen Wilson talked about his defense after the game. “It’s what we do. The team is well-conditioned to run the press. Our guys played hard all night and I really appreciate that.” When asked about being pushed by Smyrna for most of the game, Coach Wilson said “Coach Mears always has his team prepared – they play hard, and that’s our conference man. We have Sussex Central next and they are tough too.”

Jayvion Dennis led Dover with 16 points, Dorrell Little added 13, and Istaban Norwood scored 10 for the 11-2 Senators. Dover now has an 8-0 record in Henlopen North games.

Smyrna was paced by senior O-B Coleman with a game-high 20 points and teammate Maurice Kilgoe chipped in with 10. The Eagles are now 9-4 overall and 7-3 in division play.

Share this Post