WILMINGTON — For three quarters, Archmere’s boys basketball team hung right with the defending state champions from Tower Hill, but a successful half-court heave from the Hillers’ leading scorer and one of Delaware’s best players was enough to catapult Tower to a 53-40 victory. The game was played at the Chase Fieldhouse as part of the SL24 Memorial Classic.
It was a tight, low-scoring affair through the first half, which ended with the Hillers on top, 21-17. The Auks had bounced back from an 11-4 deficit to take the lead, 14-13, on a three-pointer by Matthew Malloy, but Dean Shepherd followed his own miss the next time down to put Tower Hill back on top, where they stayed the remainder of the half.
Kevin Coleman got the Hillers off to a good start in the third quarter with a three ball, but the Auks were undaunted. P.J. Blessington answered with a three of his own, and Chris Albero scored off an offensive rebound to cut the Hillers’ lead to two. Matt McCarthy was fouled the next time down the floor, and he tied the game with a pair of free throws with 4:48 left in the third.
The game was tied one more time at 26-26 before Daniel Somerville gave Tower the lead for good on a three-point play, but the Auks were never far behind. Charlie Malloy got them to within a point at 31-30, but Tower finished the quarter on a 6-0 run, the last three of those coming from Shepherd, whose heave from the midcourt stripe banked off the glass and in as the buzzer sounded.
McCarthy hit two more free throws a minute into t he fourth to cut the deficit to five, but some good rebounding helped the Hillers add to that lead. First, Shepherd followed the miss of his brother, Dylan, for a put back, and Marty Coyne grabbed his own miss and scored. There was still 5:20 to go, and McCarthy hit a long two, but Tower Hill put the game out of reach with the next six.
Dean Shepherd led the Hillers with 20, while Somerville had 12. Tower Hill (11-3) plays Tuesday at Caesar Rodney at 5:30 p.m.
For the Auks, McCarthy scored 13, with nine coming from the free throw line. Blessington added 9. Archmere fell to 7-6 and meets Odyssey Charter on Monday at 5:!5 p.m. at the Grail Sports Complex in Elsmere.
All photos by Jason Winchell.