Sussex Central defeats CR, Pritchett nets 1,000th points

GEORGETOWN — It’s not often that reaching a significant personal milestone is icing on the cake.

But that might have been the case for Sussex Central senior Taylor Pritchett Tuesday when the Golden Knights hosted rival Caesar Rodney in a girls’ basketball game between the last two teams unbeaten in Henlopen North play.
Pritchett scored her 1,000th varsity point when she netted the Knights’ first field goal of the bout and finished with a game-high 22 points, leading Central (9-2 overall, 6-0 North) to a 69-47 victory and first place in the division.Taylor Pritchett

“One thousand points is a huge milestone, you get your name on the plaque and when I come back I’ll get to see it,” Pritchett said. “This is a huge, huge step (toward winning the North). Caesar Rodney is always a big team to beat and when you beat them you know you are in a good direction of completing that goal and winning the North.”

Both teams still have several conference games remaining on their schedule, but each will be favorites in all of them until the rematch at CR (8-3, 5-1) on Feb. 7. If the Knights win there, they will in all likelihood earn Central’s first division title since 1995, while a Riders’ victory could force a playoff rubbermatch between the teams following the regular season’s conclusion.

“It’s a big win, puts us in first place, but we still have to go to their place and beat them on their court,” Central coach Ron Dukes said.
Trailing by as many as five in the opening quarter, Central was able to get within one of the lead early in the second. Then with 5:30 remaining before half, junior Emily Truitt drained a three-pointer that gave the Knights their first lead of the game, 17-15.

They never trailed again, as a strong push at the end of the quarter helped Central take a 31-22 lead into the break.

During the decisive eight minutes – Central won the second quarter 22-8 – it was the Knights’ defense that spurred the offense by forcing multiple CR misses that kept the Riders from setting up their fullcourt press.

Senior Jada Smack along with juniors Lamesha Walker, Tatyana Jenkins and Truitt were a big part of that defensive effort, keeping the Riders from easy looks in the post and making them settle instead for contested jumpers.

“I didn’t want to lose, so I just gave it my all,” said Jenkins, who finished with 12 points. “I’m not really a scorer, so defense is what I do.”
For most of the third quarter the Knights maintained at least a three-possession lead.

Near the period’s end, senior Jasmine Hudson, herself a 1,000 Point Club member, scored seven of her 16 total points to put Central in firm control. Three of those came on a buzzer-beating field goal that gave her team a 48-33 lead as the quarter closed.

 

Sussex Central senior Jasmine Hudson scored 16 points in a win over CR.

Sussex Central senior Jasmine Hudson scored 16 points in a win over CR.

Behind by 20 with six minutes to play after Pritchett drained an open three-pointer, CR staged a late run and got the score back down to 55-43. But, that was as close as the Riders would get, as Central was able to create some turnovers that led to points from Jenkins on the fastbreak that nailed the coffin shut and assured the Knights would stay unbeaten in conference.

Senior Simone London led CR, which saw a five-game winning streak snapped with the loss, with 16 points. She and the Riders will play again Saturday at home versus nonconference Appoquinimink.

Central extended its winning streak to six and will host conference foe Cape Henlopen when it next takes the court this coming Tuesday.

From the Sussex County Sports Desk

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