After a sluggish start to the season for the Dover Senators boys basketball squad, they bounced back impressively winning 4 of 5 games to get back to the .500 mark on the season. Then, some more adversity struck, as they lost two straight including a 23-point loss to Henlopen North rival Sussex Tech.
On Saturday afternoon, the Senators looked to rebound from the ugly loss at Tech against a hot Mount Pleasant team who coming in to the game had won 4 of their last 5 games.
The Senators did not disappoint, coming up with an impressive 57-48 victory on Saturday. Dover's record now stands at 6-7 with only 7 games remaining in the season.
After that slow start mentioned earlier, the Senators have responded by playing a strong brand of basketball over their last 8 games. Head Coach Stephen Wilson gives the credit to his team for adjusting and beginning to gel at the right time.
"We've been focusing on our defense and guys are starting to get to know each other out there," said Wilson. "Our rebounding has been strong and having the ball in Antwon Peace's hands a lot more has given us a spark."
The Eagles have struggled lately, losers of 3 of their last 4 games. However, like the Senators it's put up or shut up time for the Eagles, as well. At 5-6, the Eagles must make their move now if they hope to be playing basketball in late February and early March.
Not only do the Eagles have to deal with Dover, they also have a laundry list of tough games on their schedule as the season winds down. Aside from the Senators, the Eagles will face defending Henlopen champions Polytech, Salesianum, Cape Henlopen, St. Andrew's, Sussex Central and Tech, and Caesar Rodney before the season is said and done. So, there is no doubt about it, on Friday night the Eagles will be playing like a desperate team which is always a dangerous spot to be in if you're the opponent.
Dover has their own reasons to play desperate basketball on Friday night, as it marks the first of 3 Henlopen match ups for the Senators. Wins within the conference will be even more important especially as we approach the stretch run. After Smyrna, the Senators take on Cape Henlopen and rival Caesar Rodney before going on the road to take on two tough squads in Hodgson and A.I. duPont.
"We have to take these games one at a time," said Wilson. "The Tech loss certainly hurt us but we feel that if we can take care of our own business out there that we can get first place in our division and hopefully win the conference."