51-36 in Second Round
Photos: Sussex Tech point guard Brandon Mann drives for early basket.
WOODSIDE -- While the Sussex Tech High School boys' basketball team may have been an unknown quantity throughout the season, that can be said no more after it ousted defending state champion William Penn from the 2002 Delaware state tournament.
Behind a stifling zone defense, the 4th-seeded Ravens rolled into the quarterfinals against Salesianum with a 51-36 victory over the 20th-seeded Colonials on Saturday, March 2.
Now 20-4 overall, Tech faces No. 5 Salesianum in a major quarterfinal battle on Tuesday, March 5, at a site and time to be determined. The Sals advanced with a 69-56 victory over Lake Forest in another second round game Saturday.
A win would put the Ravens back in the semifinals for the first time since 1999.
Tech thoroughly frustrated William Penn from the outset even though it didn't take command of the contest until the second half.
The Colonials never did decode the Ravens' 1-3-1 zone, as they were reluctant to shoot three-pointers until late in the game and they couldn't get the ball into massive center Donte Williams, who fouled out with only 4 points after scoring 24 points in William Penn's first round victory over Caesar Rodney.
Tech led just 20-16 at halftime, largely because the Colonials held the ball for minutes at a stretch trying to find a hole in the Raven defense.
But in the third quarter, the frustration began to take a toll on the scoreboard, too.
First, guard Rashawn Johnson buried a three-pointer to increase Tech's lead to 24-16 a minute into the third period. Then, point guard Brandon Mann, who led the Ravens with 13 points, completed a three-point play on a driving layup and free throw fora 27-16 advantage with 5:53 left in the third.
The lead reached 29-16 on a baseline jumper by forward Travis White.
William Penn closed within 34-26 by quarter's end, but that was as close as it would get as Tech went on a 16-6 run in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Center Jamel Trott scored 7 of his 9 points during that stretch, and Johnson connected on 3 of his 10 points during the run. Swingman Chris Hopkins, who finished with 11 points, added a pair of free throws during the spurt.
William Penn didn't put a single player in double figures. Kendall Robertson and Ugene Johnson led the Colonials with 8 points each.
WILLIAM PENN (36) -- Justin Womack 1 0-0 2, Mike Baco 1 4-5 6, Chris Delaney 1 0-0 2, Kendall Robertson 3 0-0 8, Corea Washington 0 0-0 0, Mike Rose 0 0-0 0, Ugene Johnson 4 0-3 8, Ken Dease 0 0-0 0, Andre Robinson 3 0-0 6, Donte Williams 1 2-2 4. TOTALS 14 6-10 36.
SUSSEX TECH (51) -- Chris Hopkins 3 5-8 11, Rashawn Johnson 4 0-1 10, Tim Palmer 0 0-0 0, Gavin Coco 0 0-0 0, Brandon Mann 5 2-4 13, Kevin Maull 3 0-0 8, Dan Humpton 0 0-0 0, Shawn Evans 0 0-0 0, Cody White 0 0-0 0, Jamaal Timmons 0 0-0 0, Jamel Trott 4 1-5 9, Bryant Thomass 0 -0- 0, Travis White 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 19 8-20 51.
Three-point field goals: Sussex Tech 5 (Rashawn Johnson 2, Kevin Maull 2, Brandon Mann); William Penn 2 (Kendall Robertson).
Sussex Tech head coach Jerry Kobasa on his team's suffocating zone defense, which held William Penn center Donte Williams to just 4 points after Williams scored 24 in a first round win over Caesar Rodney:
"We knew after watching them play CR that they've got good quickness, they've got great athletes. We knew that we couldn't match up with them man to man. Our big key was trying to keep Williams from getting the ball because we saw against CR, every time they broke down, it was either a penetration or a dish to Williams or a short jump shot, so all we were trying to do was keep them out on the perimeter. I thought Trott and a couple of those guys, Travis White and those three guys underneath, did a great job on the rotations off the matchup and just kept fronting Williams. A couple of times that we didn't do it, he got the ball and laid it back in. He's a beast. He's tough. Those kids (Ravens) did a good job tonight. I was really proud of them. White, Trott and Chris Hopkins."
Kobasa on point guard Brandon Mann, who constantly penetrated William Penn's defense for baskets or assists:
"Brandon Mann did a great job running the club. William Penn is known for their defense and I thought he handled the guard pressure real well. A couple of times we got out of synch and he got us back into it. Defensively he did the same thing. And offensively he broke some people down off the dribble. Brandon can do that. That's what we keep telling him. We noticed that against CR. The time CR made a run at them CR was down 14 and they actually tied the game up, they started penetrating and got away from those three-point shots. We figured that's what we had to do with him (Mann), just penetrate and maybe Trott would be open."
Tech point guard Brandon Mann on handling the ball against William Penn's defense:
"In practice they (Raven reserves) always put a lot of pressure defense on us, so we're used to it and we just do what we in practice, play a hard-nosed game."
Mann on being more offensive-minded against William Penn and leading the team in scoring with 13 points:
"Coach told me, 'It's do or die right now. You've got to win this one to go to the next one', and I wasn't trying to go home early."
Mann on the Ravens' zone defense:
"We just play that hard every game and it's hard for people to get in on that because we play pressure, but they weren't really attacking it, so we just stayed in. That's what helped us out a lot because we're used to teams penetrating on us and we have to play harder defense, but we weren't even that tired out there because they didn't really do anything."
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