By Lynn Schofer

The Woodbridge girls’ basketball team suffered a final second loss to Cape Henlopen in the Henlopen Conference championship game last Saturday in Dover.

“We made too many mistakes in crucial times. We were up and turned the ball under the basket,” said Woodbridge head coach Isaiah Robinson.

Woodbridge’s De’Aysa Jones gets pressure from Cape Henlopen’s Ella Rishko in the first quarter of the Henlopen Conference girls’ basketball championship game. Photo by Lynn Schofer

Woodbridge took a 36-35 lead with 40 seconds to play but lost possession on an inbounds play and Cape Henlopen scored to take the lead. Cape Henlopen’s Mehkia Applewhite stepped in front of the pass for the steal at the top of the key with 11 seconds remaining and played down the clock to .9 before Woodbridge fouled.

“It is more than just one play, our defense slacked off at the wrong times and these are things we have to fix,” Robinson said. 

Woodbridge’s only losses this season were to teams north of the Delaware River. The Raiders go into the tournament ranked seventh overall. The Henlopen Conference Championship is a taste of the battle ahead for Woodbridge but Coach Robinson said the girls will be ready, “This stings but we have to move on and prepare for the state tournament.”

In the first quarter, both teams played man-to-man defense and their own full court press. Cape Henlopen’s screen plays were effective while Woodbridge relied on Sierra Smith’s and De’Aysa Jones’ outside shooting abilities. 

Jones’ defense disrupted the dribble and passing of the Vikings on several possessions. Turnovers were almost even with Woodbridge giving the ball up one more time than Cape in the quarter but the score was 12-12.

In the second quarter, Jones and Janiera Scott each forced turnovers by the Viking offense. On offense, the Blue Raiders were outsized inside the paint and outpositioned on rebounds. Cape Henlopen collected a three point lead on a corner basket and Woodbridge turned it over on their possession for a 19-16 half-time score. 

In the third quarter, Cape Henlopen played a zone defense and Woodbridge missed on two offensive plays. Both teams suffered turnovers and Cape took a seven point lead with a minute on the clock. Woodbridge missed from the foul line to finish the quarter down 31-24.

In the final quarter, Woodbridge scored seven unanswered points, led by Reghan Robinson, to tie the game. Applewhite, who scored 17 points in the game, took over the quarter for her Vikings and scored the go ahead basket (33-31). Robinson answered and the Blue Raiders led by one point.  

Woodbridge led by one point and Scott stole the ball and was challenged on her fast break with an out of bounds call going to the Blue Raiders. On the inbounds play the ball was bounce passed but hit the foot of a Woodbridge player and Cape Henlopen was handed possession.  

Cape Henlopen scored with 31 seconds and led by one point when Applewhite made the play of the game, stealing the ball and wisely holding possession. Woodbridge defended but did not foul until .9 remaining to win, 37-36. 

“We work hard and teams will make mistakes. They have to learn, keep their heads up, make the corrections, and move on,” said Robinson.