Game of the Week
Back for Win
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Photo: Cape's J.J. Hazzard sails in for a layup.
LEWES -- What coach Jerry Kobasa has been harping on might have finally sunk in for his Sussex Tech boys' basketball team.
Kobasa has been drilling into his players' heads the notion that they must play hard and smart for four quarters, and his Ravens nearly learned that lesson the hard way in a battle of unbeatens at Cape Henlopen Friday night, Dec. 17, 1999.
Instead, a fourth quarter comeback sparked by all-state forward Brian Polk gave the relieved Ravens a 67-60 Henlopen Conference Northern Division victory.
Polk scored 32 of his 38 points in the second half to lead Tech, ranked 3rd in the state, back from a 31-20 halftime deficit to rise to 4-0 in the division and overall. The Ravens are tied with Sussex Central for the division lead.
Cape, led by tenacious forward Julius Hazzard's 23 points, slipped to 2-1 in the North and overall.
The halftime score was most shocking not because of the team that was leading but because the Tech juggernaut that was averaging more than 80 points a game managed only 20 points against Cape's pesky 1-2-2 zone including just 6 points in the second period.
The zone, along with Hazzard's ferocious work on the offensive boards, allowed Cape to control the game's tempo and eventually build a 41-28 advantage with 4 minutes left in the third period.
But a technical foul against Cape's bench started an 8-0 run that pulled Tech within 41-35 with 2 minutes left in the quarter to begin the comeback.
The teams traded baskets to end the quarter with Cape leading 46-39, but after two Hazzard free throws gave the Vikings a 48-39 advantage to start the fourth period, the Ravens mounted their final comeback effort with a 7-0 run to pull within 48-47 with 6:18 remaining.
A 15-foot jumper by Darrell Davis on a nice pass from Hazzard made it 50-47 Cape, but Polk responded with a layup off a rebound and a long three-pointer to give Tech its first lead -- 52-50 -- since late in the first quarter.
Cape tied the game for the final time on a floater by Davis with 3:55 to go, but Tech reeled off the next 8 points on a hanging jumper in the lane by Polk, a put-back of a missed free throw by L.J. Walston, and a followup and steal and layup by Polk for a 60-52 advantage with 1:38 remaining.
Cape could get no closer than 5 points after that despite the fact Tech missed 9 of its last 12 free throws and made only 10 of its 30 free throws for the game.
Tynell Tingle joined Polk in double figures for Tech with 15 points. Davis scored 17 points and Dwyane Holloman 13 for Cape.
SUSSEX TECH (67) -- Brian Polk 14 7-15 38, Michael Hooks 1 0-0 2, Robert Smith 1 0-1 2, L.J. Walston 6 2-9 15, Tynell Tingle 3 0-1 7, Tyray Chandler 0 1-4 1, Shannon Wright 0 0-0 0, Darilo Jankovic 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 10-30 67.
CAPE HENLOPEN (60) -- Taron Biles 0 0-0 0, Pat Woods 0 1-2 1, Dwayne Holloman 6 1-2 13, J.J. Hazzard 9 6-7 23, Darrell Davis 6 4-6 17, Bob Croce 1 0-1 2, Patrick Jackson 0 1-2 1, Tom Sheehan 1 1-2 3. Totals: 21 14-22 60.
Three-pointers: Brian Polk 3, Darrell Davis, J.J. Hazzard, L.J. Walston, Tynell Tingle.
Kobasa on Tech's inconsistency
Kobasa on Tech's Brian Polk
Sussex Tech coach Jerry Kobasa on the victory:
"We were in trouble. We got tentative and stopped playing our type of basketball. In the second half we said we were going straight man to man and anybody who didn't play it was coming out. We just didn't do a darned thing in the first half. We missed a ton of shots but Cape played good defense, too. Cape took us out of our game and we didn't adjust to it. They slowed us down."
Kobasa on what was said at halftime after the Ravens scored just 20 points:
"They weren't too happy with what was said at halftime but the nice thing is they dug down and responded. They did what we asked from midway in the third quarter on. They finally opened their ears up and listened a little to what we were saying."
Kobasa on Cape Henlopen's effort:
"That's a good team. They've got talent. Hazzard just did anything he wanted on the boards in the first half and that's what we talked about going in, keeping JuJu off the boards. But every Hazzard I've ever seen will just come from anywhere on the court and get a rebound. They're good." I think Hazzard can play with anybody in the state and (Darrell) Davis can play with anybody in the state. And Pat Woods did a real nice job for them out front."
Kobasa on Cape's 1-2-2 zone defense, which limited Tech to just 20 first half points:
"We're usually a very good shooting team. We got stagnant tonight. Brian was off tonight and Tynell Tingle didn't shoot well. That's what a zone will do to you. But if you start hitting from outside, they'll come out of that zone real fast."
Cape coach Ed Waples on the loss:
"I think we shot ourselves in the foot with the technical foul (against the bench in the third quarter with Cape leading by 13). It's one of those things ... I've been coaching varsity for three years and coached junior varsity and middle school before that and never have had a technical called on the bench. That was a momentum swing and after we lost that momentum we just came unglued."
Waples on team leader J.J. Hazzard's performance:
"One of the things about J.J. is I hope people give him credit for the things he does. He may not show you 32 points every game but he'll show you things like rebounds, the things you don't get credit for."
Waples on the 1-2-2 zone defense that limited Tech to 20 first half points:
"I think the zone would have rattled them the whole game but when Tom Sheehan came out (with five fouls early in the fourth quarter) I had to change things up because I was bringing in guys who had never been in a dogfight like that."
Sussex Tech's Brian Polk on trying to repeat as Henlopen Conference champions:
"As long as we play hard and play good defense it will be hard to beat us. It's a dogfight every night. Since we're the champs everybody goes for us because they have nothing to lose. We're just going to go out and try to repeat."
Polk on the Ravens' bench on a night when the starters' shooting was off:
"I just thank the players who came in off the bench and gave us 100 percent, diving for the ball and trapping."
Polk on overcoming a slow start with 32 of his 38 points in the second half:
"I was basically trying to get to the foul line and pick things up there, but things weren't working out for me on the foul line tonight (he was 7 of 15). In the first half we weren't getting the ball to the wing where we could work it around, but we worked that out in the second half."
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