Other Games of the Week
Photos: The Henlopen Conference champion Sussex Tech boys' basketball team (above) and Tech forward L.J. Walston (below) scores on a fast break dunk.
LEWES -- There were shaky moments to be sure, but from the outset, the Henlopen Conference championship game belonged to Sussex Tech ... for the second straight year.
The Ravens jumped out to a huge lead and then held on down the stretch to claim their second consecutive Henlopen title with a 73-62 victory over Lake Forest at Cape Henlopen on Tuesday, Feb. 29, 2000.
It was also the second straight year that Tech beat Lake Forest for the conference crown.
Now 20-3, Tech has a few days off before opening the state tournament with a second round matchup against the winner of a first-round game between Caesar Rodney and St. Mark's. Tech is the tournament's third seed behind top-seeded and unbeaten Sanford and No. 2 seed A.I. DuPont.
The Ravens stamped their school's name on the Henlopen championship trophy in the first quarter of Tuesday's win over Lake Forest.
They jumped out to leads of 15-2 and 20-4 before settling in at 22-6 after the first period with standout guard Brian Polk scoring 10 of his 35 points in the quarter. Tech widened that advantage in the second quarter and led 36-17 at halftime.
The Spartans, however, didn't cave in, as standout guard Dorrell Little, who scored only two points in the first half, came alive.
Little scored 6 points in a 13-2 Lake Forest run that cut the deficit to 38-30 with 3:40 left in the third quarter. After Tech went on a spurt to go ahead 46-32, the Spartans pulled to within 46-40 on three-pointers by Jud Dean and Terrell Hicks and a goaltending call against Polk.
The Ravens stiffened after Hicks' three-pointer, though, and scored 6 straight points on four free throws by Polk and a follow by center Darko Jankovic to turn a 49-43 lead into a 55-43 lead with less than 5 minutes left.
The Spartans would get no closer than 9 points after that.
No other Ravens scored in double figures but Tynell Tingle contributed 9 points. Polk, who averages 31 points, 11 rebounds, 6 steals and 4.5 assists a game, unofficially collected a school record 20 rebounds.
Little led four Spartans in double figures with 16 points. Hicks added 15 points and Larry Smith and Dean contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively.
LAKE FOREST (62) -- Jud Dean 4 1-4 10, Dorrell Little 6 3-9 16, Larry Smith 4 3-5 11, James Hicks 1 0-0 2, Jeff Scott 3 0-0 6, Terrell Hicks 5 2-2 15, Darrell Trotter 0 2-4 2. Totals: 23 11-24 62.
SUSSEX TECH (73) -- Brian Polk 11 11-12 35, Chris Hopkins 1 2-2 4, Michael Hooks 2 2-3 7, Robert Smith 0 0-0 0, DeShawn Cannon 0 0-0 0, Michael Mann 0 0-0 0, L.J. Walston 3 0-0 6, David Collins 0 0-0 0, Tynell Tingle 4 0-0 9, Tyray Chandler 2 2-6 6, Shannon Wright 0 0-0 0, Darko Jankovic 3 0-0 6. Totals: 26 17-23 73.
Three-pointers: Terrell Hicks (3), Brian Polk (2), Michael Hooks (1), Tynell Tingle (1), Jud Dean, Dorrell Little.
Tech senior Brian Polk on winning a second straight Henlopen Conference title:
"It's like history. You can go back to your school maybe 20 to 40 years from now and say, 'Hey, my team, we're the ones who put that up there.' It's fun and exciting."
Polk on the victory over Lake Forest in which the Ravens jumped out to a 20-4 lead, saw Lake come back to within 6 points in the fourth quarter, but then held the Spartans off down the stretch:
"Later in the game we slacked up a little bit because we thought we had it down pat and when we slacked up, things started getting a little crazy. We were repeating champions but just because it was somebody we had beaten before, we couldn't have any letdowns. You've gotta beat them again. We got tired and started playing in their hands, turning the ball over. We gradually got it back together and slowed it down, swinging the ball, hitting the middle and beating them on fast breaks."
Tech coach Jerry Kobasa on Yugoslavian exchange student Darko Jankovic, who started at center and is now providing the Ravens with meaningful minutes:
"He didn't know American basketball at all (at the start of the season). They play totally different over in Yugoslavia. Give coach (Ronson) Burton credit. He's done a great job with Darko. Each game he's getting better and better and better. He's come from nowhere. He couldn't even hold onto the ball at the beginning of the season. The kids are getting more confidence in him, too. Early in the season they were leery of throwing the ball to him because he had trouble catching it. In Europe, you're allowed to push in the back, allowed to punch, allowed to walk three times. Over here he was called for walking probably every time he touched the ball. But from the beginning of the year, he's made tremendous strides."
Polk on Jankovic:
"For the league he was in over there, he's really adjusted. Over there only like 50 people came to the games. Here, you've got sellout crowds and the big crowds were getting to him. We really worked with him and said, 'Don't worry about the crowds. Just blank that out and play your game.' He's doing really well. I give him an A-plus."
Kobasa on sophomore guard Chris Hopkins, who came up from the JV to play meaningful minutes in the championship game:
"He was a mainstay on the JV team this year. We knew we had (Michael) Hooks and (Tynell) Tingle and we were just afraid that if we brought Chris up early that he wouldn't play a whole lot. So what we did was we kept Chris on JV and I told the JV coach that the last four games of the season, I wanted to let Chris practice with us for two games to get used to it (varsity) and the last two games he'd be playing. And I told Chris, 'If I bring you up, you're playing. I'm not bringing you up to sit on the bench.' He's going to get minutes and he showed a lot of poise tonight for a 10th grader. We had one of our better JV teams this year and a lot of it was because of Chris."
Tech guard Tynell Tingle on helping his team to a fast start with 5 points in the first two minutes:
"I like that, starting a game off like that. It makes me feel better and makes the game go a little better for me."
Tingle on the pressure defense that staked Tech to a 20-4 first quarter lead:
"I thought we really did a good job playing defense. We let up a little bit in the second quarter, which gave them a little momentum in the third quarter and they cut the lead down, which wasn't good for us."
Kobasa on Polk, who averages 31 points, 11 rebounds, 6 steals and 4.5 assists a game:
"Brian is special. I've said that all year long. If he's not the player of the year in the state, I don't know who is. He does everything. As a coach you don't get many kids like that who come along at our level. If you're at Oak Hill (prestigious prep school), you get them all. But if you're in the Henlopen Conference or the Blue Hen Conference, there are very few Brian Polks or Lloyd Prices (former state player of the year) that come along."
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