Lady Ravens extend win streak to five games, inch closer to Henlopen North title

GEORGETOWN – With Friday night’s 62-36 win over Cape Henlopen (8-9), the Sussex Tech Lady Ravens extended its win streak to five games and are now just one win away from the Henlopen North title.

With four games remaining on the regular season schedule, the 14-2 Lady Ravens just need a win over either Caesar Rodney (Tuesday, Feb. 13) or Polytech (Saturday, Feb. 17) to clinch the North.

Nine girls scored at least two points for the Lady Ravens, with the bench contributing 17 points in the 26-point blowout.

“I definitely think we have seven or eight girls who could start in the Henlopen North, no problem,” said senior Aliyah Browning of the team’s strength off the bench. “So, for us, we have the depth where we know when the next girl comes in the intensity stays the same. It doesn’t matter who is in the game, we’re all out there to play our hearts out, give every valuable minute we can, and then either go back on the bench or keep playing.”

Mi’Cah Shelton scored a game-high 16 points in Tech’s win over Cape Henlopen Friday night (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

“Whether it’s starters or subs we have in, when we make plays there’s excitement on our bench and that just makes the girls want to play harder,” head coach Justin Davis said.

Browning, one of only three seniors on the roster this season, is committed to play at Arcadia University next year yet she has no issues with coming in off the bench for the Lady Ravens.

“The maturity it takes to be committed to a college and be willing to come off the bench, and she doesn’t sit there unhappily,” said coach Davis. “She’s the life of our energy on the bench and on the floor. We’re thankful to have kids like that.”

Between Browning’s eight points off the bench, junior forward Mi’Cah Shelton’s game-high 16 points and junior forward Janiya Stevens’ 14 points, the Lady Ravens had very few issues getting to the basket Friday night.

“Mi’Cah, she was incredible tonight,” said coach Davis. “Janiya, she is just now in the last couple of weeks figuring out how good she has a chance to be. Defensively, she has a knack for timing and blocking shots and is an incredible help defender. She cleans up a lot for us. Offensively, that was kind of an after-thought for her but this year, every game, we’re on our girls about getting the ball to her as much as possible.”

It took all of 34 seconds for Tech to jump ahead in the first quarter, as Shelton drained a three-point shot at the 7:34 mark to put the Ravens up 3-0.

Through the first 1:12 of game clock, Tech had quickly built a 7-1 lead and ended the opening quarter with a 16-11 lead.

A pair of Browning baskets within 10 seconds of each other early in the second quarter helped ignite a 23-6 run in the span of eight minutes to take a 39-17 lead into the halftime break.

Junior guard Airelle Parker scored three of her five points in the second half Friday night (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

Even ahead 22 points at the half, the Lady Ravens weren’t satisfied with the lead and knew they needed to come back out and keep up the intensity for all four quarters.

“We went into the locker room knowing we had already faced adversity tonight, but good teams are prepared for adversity all four quarters,” Browning said. “So, we came out and said alright we’re going to put that behind us and we’re going to play the game we know how to play – we’re going to continue to play good defense, we’re going to continue to attack the rim and we’re going to continue to be a team and do what we do best.”

A 14-point third quarter performance helped Tech extend the lead to 27 points by the end of the third quarter.

“Our press started a lot of it on defense. It got us turnovers, and when we didn’t get turnovers it seemed to wear them down – the ball-handlers especially,” coach Davis said of his team’s run in the second and third quarters. “Offensively, when we start the game looking inside to the post – to Janiya, Mi’Cah, Aliyah, or whoever – that kind of opens things up for everybody. At times we get away from that, but when we get back to going inside we have really unselfish post players. Shots were going in, and that makes everything look good offensively.”

Coach Davis was able to get some of his reserves some playing time in the second half as the Ravens cruised to the 62-36 win.

After Tech’s pair of Henlopen North battles against CR and Polytech next week, the Ravens have games against Laurel and St. Marks to close out the regular season.

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

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