IR boys win nail-biter against Seaford on the court

Date Published: 
Feb. 9, 2018

Indian River High School boys’ basketball fans were on the edge of their seats last Tuesday night, Jan. 30, as they watched their team take on Seaford High School’s Blue Jays.

Seaford held a slim lead over IR most of the first half of the game. Then, in the second half, the IR defense limited the Blue Jays’ shooters to 14 points, while the IR shooters poured in 33 points to take the lead and to eventually build a 62-47 win.

Junior Jamier Felton led IR scoring with 30 points that included the Indians’ only 3-point goal. Sophomore Ja’Shaun Johnson chipped in 22 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for IR.

“I wasn’t really nervous, but the team started off slow — it was 2 to 10 at one point. During the first half we didn’t play well as a team,” Felton described. “At halftime, we were lucky we were only down by four. The coach told us we weren’t playing up to our potential and things like that. He told us we had to get all of the loose balls and get the rebounds, push it and have less turnovers.

“Then in the second half, third quarter,” he continued, “we were up by one, and we took the lead from there and never looked back.”

IR trailed by 5 points, 14-9, at the end of the first quarter. With 5:07 minutes left in the second quarter, IR briefly took a 23-22 lead. Seaford quickly retook control of the game, earning a 33-29 halftime advantage.

“It seemed like, I think — because we beat Woodbridge and we played pretty good against Cape, I think we thought we were a little invincible,” said IR head coach B.J. Joseph. “This team beat us earlier in the year, and they just smacked us in the face in the beginning of this game, and we were like, ‘Whoa!” but then we settled down.

“We were playing their tempo in the beginning of the game, instead of them playing our tempo,” he noted. “Once we got the lead there, we got to play our tempo and then everything took care of itself.

“Jamier had a heck of a game — he had 30. And Ja’Shaun played a good game — he had 22. So that was the game there. You have to be ready in this conference every night for a game,” he said of the Henlopen Conference. “That’s what it was.”

Adapting to the Blue Jays’ defense was key in the game, Coach Joseph said.

“Man-to-man, they were destroying us, so we went to a 3-2 zone because they have outside shooters, and then they have guys that can drive, so the only thing that was going to stop them was a 3-2 defense.”

In a game earlier that night, IR’s junior varsity players shot down Seaford 52-46.

The varsity team later in the week also beat Delmar at Delmar, 66-48, on Friday, Feb. 2, taking their record for the season to 11-5, with plans to travel to Caesar Rodney on Tuesday, Feb. 6, (after Coastal Point deadline), to take on the 10-4 Riders on their home court. They’ll follow that with a home game against 1-14 Sussex Academy on Friday, Feb. 9, at 6:15 p.m.