Eagles scheduled to play in tournament in Salisbury, Maryland tonight and Friday night

There’s no holiday break for the Smyrna High School boys basketball team as they carry the momentum of three wins in the past four games into the Governor’s Challenge tournament in Salisbury, Maryland tonight.

After starting the season with a two-point loss to Cape and a four-point defeat by Dover, the Eagles have shown resilience – a quality which has impressed head coach Andrew Mears as the team has improved to 3-3.

“The biggest positives that I’ve seen are our group’s toughness and the gaining of experience,” Mears said. “Most of our losses have been only by a few possessions. In all of those games I’ve seen tremendous fight.”

With a team consisting mostly of underclassmen, the Eagles have weathered an early storm, fighting their way through a challenging schedule that also included matchups with Sussex Central, Sussex Tech and Caravel.

In their most recent game, the Eagles cruised to a 83-55 home win over Howard Dec. 18. Four Eagles finished in double-figures, led by junior Izaiah Credle with 20 points, followed by fellow juniors, Nahshon Sylvester with 19, Brandon Smith with 12 and Taron Gibbs with 10.

“This early season test has provided us with some experience that can hopefully benefit us as the season continues,” Mears said.

Tournament in Maryland

While many teams are off during the holiday break, Smyrna will be traveling to Salisbury, Maryland this week for the Governor’s Challenge tournament.

The Eagles are scheduled for two games at the Wicomico Civic Center – tonight, Dec. 26, against St. Peter’s Boys High School of New York at 5 p.m., and Friday, Dec. 28 against Olympic High from North Carolina at 8:30 p.m.

After opening the season with a handful of tough conference matches and a battle with a talented Caravel squad, Mears says the team is looking forward to the variety in the schedule.

“I enjoy these types of tournaments as it gives our guys a different platform to perform on,” Mears said. “A neutral site and an uncommon opponent while playing over the break provides an experience that we would only see during a conference championship or during the state tournament. Without thinking ahead, it’s beneficial to have this opportunity in case we’re so fortunate at the end of the season to be in any of those positions.”

After the holidays, the Eagles will resume their regular season schedule with yet another stiff challenge, traveling to take on St. Georges Tech, currently 6-1, on Friday, Jan. 4 at 5:45 p.m.