Dover boys basketball team poses after winning the DIAA boys basketball state championship photo courtesy of Dover High Facebook

Dover stays the course to win state championship

Joe SinglesHeadlines, Sports

Dover boys basketball team poses after winning the DIAA boys basketball state championship photo courtesy of Dover High Facebook

Dover boys basketball team poses after winning the DIAA boys basketball state championship, photo courtesy of Dover High Facebook

Coming of the heels of their upset victory over St. Elizabeth’s in the semi-finals, Salesianum looked to be the more comfortable team early. Good team defense by the No. 6 seed forced Dover High School out of their offense as the basket appeared to have the proverbial lid on it for the Senators. The No. 2 seed from Kent County missed half a dozen point blank lay-ups including multiple second chance looks. It wasn’t until the 3:24 mark that Dover got on the scoreboard with a 15 footers by Denim Perkins. Sallies on the other hand looked comfortable at the offensive end, knocking down a number of shots at all three levels, getting out to a 13-4 lead with 1:46 to go in the quarter. The Senators coach Wilson would attempt to change the dynamic, switching to a 2-2-1 press with 1:25 to go, with the hopes of bringing some positive energy to his squad. 13-6 Sallies at the end of the quarter.

As Dover continued to struggle from the field, Sallies was right back at it, finding the open shooter for high percentage looks. Sallies ability to get offensive contributions from all five players on the court regardless of their line up made it extremely difficult for Dover to keep up after trying to recover out of their aforementioned 2-2-1 press. However, with Sallies’ Hinds and Thomas on the bench, the Senators would go on a 7-2 run to pull within 6. Two free throws at the end of the half would pull Dover within four, 27-23. Hynson led Sallies with 11 points while Dover’s Little led his squad with 11 points going into halftime. Dover’s inability to convert around the basket was the story of the half as the Senators out rebounded Sallies 25-15, including 19 offensive rebounds.

Back and forth they went early in the 3rd quarter as Dover’s Dorrell Little attempted to bring his team back from the 4 point deficit. Sallies would not relent however as their ability to creat good looks for their teammates continued. Still, the Senators found themselves only down two points with 2:11 to go in the quarter. Dover would break through with 1:00 minute to go on a tough, up and under layup by their point guard Denim Perkins, giving them their first lead. Dover would score again just before the buzzer to take a 40-39 lead heading into the 4th.

Kareem Thomas for Sallies would make his presence felt once again early in the 4th. Relentlessly attacking the basket, scoring from the field and the foul line to give Sallies a 2 point lead. At this point, both teams were operating on all cylinders. Dover was scoring under the basket on almost every possession while Sallies’ individual talent worked together to play their style of basketball. 50-48 Dover with 3:09 to go. After trading baskets, Dover would secure a loose ball with 56.2 seconds to go and call timeout. Dover held the ball out of the timeout forcing Sallies to foul. Tarrance Williams for Dover made one of two free throws to give them slim 3 point lead with 17.5 to go.

Dorrell Little who has been the heart of the Senator program all season would come up with a huge block on a 3-point shot from Kareem Thomas and go on to make 1 of 2 free throws after getting fouled securing the rebound. Denim Perkins would add 2 more free throws to give Dover their biggest lead of the game and secure a state championship victory for Coach Wilson and his Senator squad. 56-53 final. Dorrell Little for Dover led the way once again with 31 points and 9 rebounds, 7 of those rebounds being at the offensive end. Point guard Denim Perkins added 16 for the Senators. Sallies was led by Kareem Thomas with 18 and Isaiah Hinds with 15. Dover’s victory came in large part to their rebounding superiority at both ends of the court, including 23 offensive rebounds and outscoring Sallies 16-6 on second chance points in addition to winning the turnover battle 10-17.

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