The Smyrna boys basketball team welcomed the arrival of senior guard Dionte Bell with a 61-52 home victory over a winless Caesar Rodney, (0-4), Friday night.
Bell is a recent transfer from the former Campus Community High School in Dover. He led his team to the state tournament last year.
Bell led all scorers with 16 points, led the attack from his pint-guard position, and most importantly, help settle the nerves of his young, less experienced teammates.
"He definitely gave a us a huge lift both mentally and on the court," said Smyrna coach Mike Starkey.
"He was cleared to play for us by the DIAA and our confidence went way up to see him on the court with us," he said.
The Eagles settled in quickly and grabbed a 10-4 lead in the first quarter, as both team attempted to settle into the flow of the game. In the second quarter, however, both offenses got rolling as Smyrna posted 25 points and the Riders scrambled for 19.
Smyrna began to relax a little too early about the time Caesar Rodney started to rally. The Riders offense got going under the hot hands of Collin Moore and Aaron Briggs, and led 43-42 after three quarters.
But instead of getting rattled, the young Eagles dug in their heels and rallied to outscore their opponents 19-9 in the fourth period and take home the 61-52 victory.
"It's great to get that first victory, you can't get two without that first one. We had them down by twelve but let them back in, but we were able to rally at the end," said Starkey.
"We have some positives to build on from this game, but it's a long season, and we still have to find our identity before the end of the season," he said.
Caesar Rodney - A. Kemp 1 0- 0 2 A. Briggs 3 1-1 7 J. Downs 2 0-0 6 A. Miller 2 0-0 4 C. Moore 4 1-2 10 M. Brewah 0 2-2 2 k. Perry 3 0-1 6 S. Bartron 1 2-2 4 V. Cook 2 2-2 7 D. Schuler 1 0-0 2 R. Giles 1 0-0 2 Totals: 20 8-10 52 Smyrna - J. Hunter 4 2-7 14 D. Sudler 1 0-0 3 J. Bradley 6 0-0 12 J. Worthy 2 0-0 6 D. Bell 7 1-3 16 S. Kpana 4 2-4 10 Totals: 24 5-14 61 3-Point Goals: CR 4 ( Downs 2, Moore, Cook) SMY 8 (Hunter 4, Worthy 2, Bell, Sudler)