VIDEO & STORY -- In high school boys basketball tonight, Jan. 18, the Eagles soared over the Senators as Caleb Matthews poured in 36 points.
The Smyrna High School boys basketball team used a 23-point third quarter and hot shooting from Caleb Matthews to pull away from Dover for a 75-56 win tonight, Jan. 18, in Smyrna.
After the Eagles took a 21-13 lead in the first quarter, Dover fought back to close the gap to five points at halftime, 34-29.
With 1:54 left in the third quarter, Matthews hit a three-pointer to give the Eagles a 10-point cushion, 51-41. Then Smyrna closed out the period with six more points including a Jaymeir Garnett basket in the lane just before time expired for a 57-41 advantage.
The Eagles outscored Dover 18-15 in the final quarter for the Northern Division victory.
Smyrna's three-point shooting was a big advantage as the Eagles hit 10 from long range, while Dover knocked down just one.
Matthews sank seven of those three-pointers and led Smyrna with 36 points. Greg Bloodsworth poured in 20 for the Eagles including two from downtown. Garnett scored seven. Nahshon Sylvester and Nalik Veasley-Johnson netted five apiece, and Ron Jackson added two.
Smyrna coach Andrew Mears said the Eagles showed resiliency after falling to Cape Henlopen in their last game.
"You never want to lose, but after a loss you want to see them respond and see they've learned how to come back from adversity," said Mears.
He said the key to tonight's win was "getting back to playing our style of basketball and controlling the game. On offense, that means working the ball through our shooters and sharing the ball. Defensively, we wanted to limit them to one shot per possession."
The Eagles improved to 9-2 this season, 6-1 in the Northern Division.
For the Senators, Javon Peace scored a team-high 17 points and Eden Davis hit for 12. Elijah Allen knocked down nine. Ishmael Kaba and Eric White each scored six. Mekki Jarvis had four and Jordan Magee added two.
Dover fell to 4-8 overall, 2-6 in the division.
Dover travels to rival Caesar Rodney Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 6:15 p.m.
Smyrna also goes on the road, visiting Sussex Central Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 6:15 p.m.