Girls’ basketball: Lady Indians pick up third win in last four games

DAGSBORO – With a convincing 36-15 victory over Sussex Academy Wednesday, Jan. 3, the Indian River girls’ basketball squad has now won three of its last four games.

Senior guard Fabrea McCray led the Lady Indians to the 21-point rout with her game-high 16 points.

“I was actually proud of the fact that they were able to execute a little better,” said IR head coach Donna Polk. “We actually ran through the plays and were able to finish on some things, so we did a lot of good things tonight.”

IR forward Braydee Whitman goes up for a lay-up before being fouled early in the second quarter against Sussex Academy (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

“Overall, I think the team is definitely strong,” McCray said following the win. “We’re learning to play together, we’re learning to play for each other and that’s the biggest part of this sport, playing for the team.”

Indian River put up a quick eight points to open the first quarter, jumping ahead 8-0 in the first six minutes of play.

Sussex Academy hit a jump-shot with 1:48 to play in the quarter to put the Seahawks on the board, which set off a quick 8-0 run of their own.

With 12 seconds to play in the first quarter, Sussex Academy guard Lilly Short hit a jumper to knot the game 8-8.

Indian River senior forward Braydee Whitman’s three-point play opened the second quarter scoring at the 5:45 mark. The Whitman lay-up and subsequent free throw attempt put IR ahead 11-8.

The Lady Indians remained ahead for the rest of the game.

A 16-10 halftime lead turned into a 14-point lead at the end of the third quarter.

Defensively, Indian River allowed just five third quarter points and shut the Lady Seahawks out in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Nine of McCray’s 16 points came in the second half.

Senior guard Kealey Allison turns to pass the ball to a teammate during IR’s win over Sussex Academy Wednesday night (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

“We had a lot of offensive rebounds, so I was happy with that,” said coach Polk. “We have to work a little harder and be able to finish, but we did a good job in the half-court execution – they were more patient and pushed the ball when they needed to.”

After starting the season 0-4, Indian River finds themselves on the right track as they head into the thick of the Henlopen Conference schedule.

The win over Sussex Academy puts Indian River at 4-6 on the season as the girls prepare for a three-game road stand against Henlopen opponents Cape Henlopen (Friday, Jan. 5), Milford (Tuesday, Jan. 9) and Lake Forest (Thursday, Jan. 11).

“I think they’re just starting to understand a little bit more and are being more patient,” coach Polk said of her team’s recent success. “They’re starting to understand and actually make adjustments. We’re finishing better on the fastbreak now, so that’s helping. I just think they’re buying in more.”

“The biggest difference is we’re learning to trust each other, we’re learning to play together and to just have fun,” McCray said of the difference between the beginning of the season and now. “Right now what we’re doing is we’re playing every game one at a time.

Boys’ basketball (Wednesday, Jan. 3): Indian River 87, Sussex Academy 39.

Five players scored double-digit point totals for IR in Wednesday night’s win, led by Jamier Felton’s 18 points. The win marked the fourth straight for IR (6-4) this season.

K.J. Custis scored 15 points; Antonio Jones scored 13; OrRyin Morris and Ja’Shaun Johnson scored 12 each.

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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