On Friday evening, the final four teams in the Delaware County Tournament squared off for a chance to fight for the 2024 Delaware County crown. When it was all said and done Delta and Yorktown came out on top and will play for the County Championship.
Game 1: Delta (12-2) vs. Wes-Del (3-8)
After a dominant performance in the quarterfinals, the Eagles hoped to replicate that showing en route to the championship game.
The Eagles started the game strong, making sure to get everyone involved with three players scoring in the first three minutes of the game. Wes-Del was able to keep it close early in the first thanks to second-chance buckets.
The Eagles eventually were able to push their lead to double digits with aggressive paint scoring, in large part due to the play of senior Jackson Wors who ended the night with 11 points.
“I wasn’t forcing it,” Wors said. “I was trying to move off the ball and let my teammates get me the ball.”
The defensive pressure of the white and gold disrupted the Warriors' offensive flow. After a few early baskets, the Warriors struggled to shoot the ball and had ball-handling issues leading to turnovers.
“We weren’t very strong with the basketball,” Wes-Del head coach Josh Burkett said. “They were very strong early and kept knocking it out of our hands.”
Delta could seemingly do no wrong in the opening half as the second quarter was dominated by the Eagles scoring at will, and forcing the maroon and grey to struggle to get shots up.
Delta senior D’Amare Hood was extremely effective to start the game making nearly every shot he attempted. He finished the half with a whopping 26 points.
After a lopsided half, the Eagles led 49-21 at the break.
Delta the second half with their foot still firmly on the gas pedal. The defense continued to shut down any hopes the Warriors had of coming back with multiple blocked shots and forced turnovers.
“I like how active we are defensively,” Delta head coach Mark Detweiler said. “We’ve done it the right way on the defensive end.”
Wes-Del never truly seemed to be able to settle into the game. With the combination of smothering defense from the Eagles, and continued shooting struggles, the Warriors couldn’t get over the hump.
“They do a great job of defending on the ball,” Burkett said. “They were able to hedge really hard, and then their ball pressure one on one was very strong.”
The early deficit proved to be too much to overcome with Delta cruising past Wes-Del 72-38.
Delta moves on to the championship game to face Yorktown (7-5) Saturday, Jan. 13. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.
Wes-Del will have a conference road matchup at Shenandoah on Monday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Yorktown (7-5) vs. Wapahani (12-1)
Yorktown had a difficult task at hand for their opening game of the tournament taking on the undefeated Raiders.
It was a frantic back-and-forth affair in the opening quarter, with neither team able to grasp the momentum. Wapahani was able to get on the offensive glass early but was unable to turn it into points.
The scoring prowess of Wapahanis’ Isaac Andrews was nullified in the early going by the aggressive Tiger defense.
“Everything we work on in practice, you hope it translates to the floor. You love to see the fruits of all that work.” Yorktown head coach Matt Moulton said.
Offensively the black and green were able to work their inside-out game to perfection driving into the lane and kicking out for open shots.
For the white and red, consistent offense was hard to come by with the pressure from Yorktown.
“It was a matter of Yorktown guarding us hard,” Wapahani head coach Matt Luce said. “They’re tough and physical.”
Even with the pressure and aggressive defense from the Tigers, Wapahani was able to weather the storm and was only down by five at half 21-16.
Yorktown opened up the half and was able to extend their lead to eight. Every time the Raiders made a push to close the gap, the Tigers always had an answer.
“We had opportunities to cut it to two or three,” Luce said. “But every time we did Yorktown came back and hit a big shot on us.”
The defense for the white and red was struggling to contain anything the Tigers ran offensively. Multiple defenders were caught sleeping on the back end, and lackadaisical help defense allowed Yorktown to get a large portion of their shots uncontested.
“We were trying to be patient,” Moulton said. “You’ve got to be strong with the ball and look for your opportunities for cutters to the basket.”
For the Raiders, Andrews was able to hold the team together offensively to keep the deficit only at eight to close out the third, but he wasn’t getting much help anywhere else.
When the fourth quarter started the momentum stayed with the Tigers who were able to grow their lead to 16 with five minutes remaining in the game.
“I thought Yorktown was tough,” Luce said. “They were meaner than us and it showed on the court, they deserved to win.”
Yorktown never let the lead slip away as they were able to close out the Raiders and hand them their first loss of the season 55-41.
Yorktown moves on to play Delta in the championship game Saturday, Jan. 13. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.
Wapahani will have a home conference game against Randolph Southern Monday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Contact David Moore with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on X @gingninj63