For the fourth straight game, the Smyrna Eagles started slow and trailed early. However the Eagles rallied each time for victories and tonight was no exception as Smyrna advanced into the quarterfinals with a 63-46 win over Caravel. The Buccaneers raced out to a 17-10 first quarter lead as senior Josh Morrow nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer. There were five lead changes and two ties in the opening quarter but Caravel broke a 10-10 tie by scoring 7 points in the final 41 seconds.
Smyrna tied the game at 19 all with 2:40 left in the half and the game remained close with the Eagles taking a 28-26 lead into the break. Morrow led all scorers with 11 in the first half.
The Eagles opened up a 5-point lead when Elijah Credle stepped in front of a pass for a steal and break-away slam with 4:30 left in the 3rd quarter. Just two minutes later he hit a long range jumper to put Smyrna up by 10. On the next Caravel possession, Yamir Knight forced another turnover and his layup pushed Smyrna’s advantage to 12 points. Caravel closed the gap to 6 at the end of the quarter, but the Eagles worked hard to get the lead back to double-digits midway thru the final quarter. The Bucs could get no closer than 11 points the rest of the game.
Elijah Credle scored a game-high 20 points including three shots beyond the arc. Teammate Lish Gregory chipped in with 12 points while “Moo” Salako added 8 points & 20 rebounds.
Morrow paced Caravel with 19 points as the 11th seed ends its season at 10-6.
The 6th seeded Smyrna Eagles will take a 17-0 record to Howard Tuesday night for a quarterfinal game against the #3 seeded Wildcats with a record of 12-2.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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