WILMINGTON – Archmere’s boys basketball team stormed out to an early lead during it’s season-opening contest on Dec. 8 against Newark Charter, but the Patriots’ relentless pressure was too much for the Auks, who dropped a 54-45 decision. The game was played at the new DMA Dome on the campus of Delaware Military Academy as part of the Diamond State Athletic Conference Tip Off tournament.
The Auks started strong, taking a 9-2 lead with a seven-point run early in the first period, capped by a three-point shot from Sean Kelly. Newark Charter took control after that, however, taking the lead for the first time at 13-11 when Perren Gyan stole an inbounds pass and going the length of the floor for a layup. Brian Lesher drilled a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded to end the first quarter, giving the Patriots the lead for good at 16-13.
The Patriots continued the offensive push into the second, with Justin Thomas scoring seven consecutive points to open the quarter. His first bucket was a triple, but the next two came inside. The Auks, feeling the heat from the Newark Charter full-court press, fell behind by 10 at one point but rebounded with a seven-point stretch of their own to close the half. They trailed, 27-24, at the break.
The teams battled through a low-scoring third quarter, with the Patrtiots’ lead getting as big as eight. That would grow in the final eight minutes and top out at 14 before the Auks mounted one final rally. They cut the gap to eight but could not overcome the Patriots.
Three players – Kelly, Mike Marino and Louis Rosato – scored eight points each for Archmere. The Auks (0-1) are back at the DMA Dome tomorrow at noon for the tournament consolation game against the host Seahawks at noon.
Thomas had 21 to pace the Patriots (2-0), and Gyan added 12. Newark Charter battles Red Lion in the championship game at 2 p.m.