Game of the Week
Polk Henlopen's All-Time Scorer
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Photo: Sussex Tech's Brian Polk soars in for a layup during Friday night's win over Cape Henlopen. Polk became the Henlopen Conference's all-time leading scorer during the game.
GEORGETOWN -- There is a team in the Henlopen Conference that can push the Sussex Tech High School boys' basketball team to the limit.
Unfortunately for Cape Henlopen, it has not been able to come up with an answer for Tech standout Brian Polk, but neither has any other conference team in the past three years.
In becoming the Henlopen Conference's all-time leading scorer on Friday night, Feb. 11, 2000, Polk netted 12 of his team's final 14 points to spark a come-from-behind 70-65 Henlopen North victory that clinched at least a tie for the division crown for the Ravens.
Polk finished with 39 points to help Tech rise to 15-0 in the North and 16-2 overall before a raucous, jam-packed crowd in Tech's gymnasium. The 6-foot-4 swingman now has 1,852 career points.
The loss dropped Cape to 10-4 in the division and 10-6 overall and all but eliminated the Vikings from the title chase. Sussex Central, which lost to Polytech Friday night, dropped to 9-5 in the division and was eliminated.
As it did in a 67-60 loss to Tech in December, Cape gave the Ravens fits on Friday night and if not for Polk's late-game heroics, would have won.
In that game on Dec. 17, Cape held an 11-point halftime lead but couldn't hold on as the 6-foot-4 Polk scored 32 of his 38 points after halftime.
On Friday night, Polk again rode to the rescue, scoring 12 straight points to bring the Ravens back from a 60-54 deficit with just over 4 minutes remaining to a 68-65 lead with 12.8 seconds left.
Polk, isolated by coach Jerry Kobasa on every play down the stretch, hit a 16-foot jumper to make it 60-56 and after a basket by Cape's Bob Croce, reeled off 10 unanswered points on four free throws, two steals for fast break layups, and a baseline jumper that put Tech ahead for good, 66-64, with 50 seconds left.
Polk added single free throws with 25.4 and 12.8 seconds to go to make it 68-65. Croce, who finished with 9 points, missed a baseline jumper with 15 seconds left with Tech leading only 67-65. Tech's Shannon Wright completed the scoring with a follow of a missed free throw.
The game went back-and-forth throughout, with Tech outscoring Cape 11-2 in the final minutes of the first half to take a 37-28 halftime lead.
But behind Croce's baseline shooting and guard Tim Widdoes' three-point marksmanship, the Vikings clawed back throughout the third quarter and pulled within 48-47 on a layup by Julius Hazzard at period's end.
During that third period, Cape outscored Tech 12-4, including a five-point trip when Widdoes was fouled and hit three free throws including a technical against Tech's L.J. Walston, and Croce nailed a baseline jumper when Cape took possession after the technical.
The Vikings ran off 7 unanswered points to start the fourth quarter for a 54-48 advantage with 6:48 left in the game. During the run, Croce hit a layup on a nice pass from Hazzard, Hazzard scored on a fast break layup, and Widdoes sank a three-pointer.
After Tech pulled within 54-52, Cape went on another spurt, outscoring the Ravens 6-2 on two layups by Widdoes and a foul line jumper by point guard Pat Woods for a 60-54 lead.
But that's when Polk took the game over to bring Tech back from the brink of defeat.
Widdoes and Hazzard led the Vikings with 20 points apiece. Widdoes hit 3 three-pointers in the game. Tynell Tingle was the only other player in double figures for Tech with 12 points.
CAPE HENLOPEN (65) -- Patrick Woods 2 0-0 5, Julius Hazzard 7 6-7 20, Tykee Perry 0 0-0 0, Darrell Davis 4 1-2 9, Tim Widdoes 6 5-6 20, Bobby Croce 4 1-2 9, Anthony Mann 1 0-0 2, Patrick Jackson 0 0-0 0, Tom Sheehan 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 13-17 65.
SUSSEX TECH (70) -- Brian Polk 13 12-15 39, Michael Hooks 1 0-0 2, L.J. Walston 2 1-1 5, Tynell Tingle 4 2-5 12, Tyray Chandler 2 3-4 7, Shannon Wright 1 2-2 4, Darko Jankovic 0 1-2 1. Totals: 23 21-29 70.
Three-pointers: Widdoes 3, Tingle 2, Polk, Woods.
Tech coach Jerry Kobasa
Tech swingman Brian Polk
Cape coach Ed Waples
Sussex Tech senior Brian Polk on taking over the game at the end:
"It wasn't so much me taking over as we were crashing the boards and when you crash the boards you get fouls. We were getting rebounds and they started fouling us. They put us on the line in one and ones and that adds up. As long as we made our foul shots, that pretty much won the ballgame."
Polk on all of the clear-outs for him late in the game:
"That's something I call. I 'iso' my man and try to blow by him, either to get the basket or just go to the line."
Sussex Tech coach Jerry Kobasa on his team's troubles with Cape Henlopen:
"We've been blowing people out. Everything has been so easy the last eight games. It's been like 20, 30, 40 points. We needed a challenge like that, getting behind. That was good. Cape played great. They did a good job. Widdoes shot the ball extremely well and we never expected that out of him. Our focus was on trying to shut down Darrell (Davis) and Julius (Hazzard). Tynell Tingle did a phenomenal job on Davis -- that was a big key -- but Widdoes hit some big shots for them and we didn't expect that. As I told the kids, to get into the tournament or if we get lucky and win the championship, this game will help us. We got down and we didn't quit. We picked up the tempo in the last three minutes of the game. The defense really stepped up well."
Kobasa on senior standout Brian Polk's 39-point performance:
"Brian, I thought early was trying to do too much and not letting the game come to him and he had a tough time. Toward the end of the third quarter and the middle of the fourth quarter he started taking the game again the way it was coming. He started breaking people down instead of all that crazy stuff. He's tough to stop. He's a major college player. When you get someone like that, you've got to take advantage of him. The kids knew he was hot and they got him the ball."
Kobasa on the possibility of meeting Cape in the state tournament:
"We were there last year with Seaford and it's hard to beat somebody three times. I hope Cape is in another bracket. They're a good team. We just had a little bit of luck on our side in the end."
Cape coach Ed Waples on the loss:
"I know we've done it twice (almost beaten Tech). In this case, we should have taken it. We had it but some mistakes down the stretch really hurt us. Our kids played their hearts out and I'm really proud of them."
Waples on the major roles played by Tim Widdoes and Bob Croce for Cape:
"They're more than capable of the role. These kids have been playing well all along. They just haven't been getting the credit. It's time people looked at them and give them credit. They deserve it."
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