The Caesar Rodney Riders girls basketball squad advanced to the second round of the DIAA State Tournament on Wednesday night, defeating A.I. duPont 67-42.
Jazmine Lee led the way for the Lady Riders scoring a game-high 19 points. Two other Riders finished in double-figures, Alexis Prillaman with 14 and Chakia Young with 12.
The Riders offense was electric from the opening tip-off, scoring double-digit points in each of the four quarters.
CR’s offense would have to be hot to start, as the Tigers came out swinging, posting 13 first quarter points. Their effort was matched by the Riders who posted 18 points in the first stanza to take a 5-point lead into the second quarter.
In the second, The Lady Riders defense would begin to clamp down on the Tigers. While the A.I. defense had to deal with a fast-paced CR offense, once scored upon they had the Lady Rider press-defense to contend with. CR’s tough defense led to turnovers and some easy high-percentage looks at the basket that helped them eventually pull away.
The Riders have played a high-tempo style all season, and senior guard Jazmine Lee sees now that all the hard work has paid off.
“When I look back I see why Coach had us practice the way we do, that’s the reason we are as good as we are today,” said Lee. “It’s not the games that made us better it’s practicing hard and not giving up on each other or ourselves.”
After another 18 point second quarter, the Riders took a 36-21 lead into the break.
The Lady Riders defense continued to go to work, and fully took control of the game in the third quarter. After allowing 13 first quarter points to A.I. duPont, the Riders allowed only 12 points in the second and third quarters combined.
CR took a commanding 53-24 lead into the fourth and final stanza, eventually winning by a score of 67-42.
“It’s nice to see them show up after all that work, it’s nice to see them show up and play that way together,” said Caesar Rodney Head Coach Bill Victory. “Is there another one in the tank? I don’t know. I’m just happy for this one, glad for the young kids that we’ve come so far and that we can play together like we did tonight.”
Caesar Rodney will now move onto the second round of the tournament taking on #5 Appoquinimink (15-4) on Friday night, tip-off at 7:00 p.m.