CLAYMONT — Archmere took advantage of good rebounding and a solid inside game to take a first-quarter lead over Delcastle, but the good times didn’t last. The Cougars, seeded 17th in the DIAA boys basketball tournament, got their running game going in the second quarter and went on to a 61-48 victory on March 4 at Mogila Fieldhouse.
The Auks pounded the ball into the paint over and over again in the first. Matt Dellose was the primary beneficiary, as he knocked down three back-door layups and added two free throws for half of the Auks’ 16 first-quarter points. Delcastle, meanwhile, was plagued by turnovers in the opening eight minutes.
Delcastle got its running game going, and the shots started to fall early in the second. They threw down a few dunks, and a transition layup by Gabe Valmond cut the Archmere lead to 20-17 with four minutes left in the first half. The Cougars took their first lead at 22-20 on a three-point shot by Ahmodrion Jones, but Anthony Mariano answered to restore a one-point Auks advantage. Valmond gave the visitors a two-point halftime advantage, however, with a three-pointer seconds before the halftime buzzer sounded.
The assault intensified in the third quarter. The Cougars’ aggressive defense forced several turnovers, and the result often was high-percentage buckets at the other end. Jaheem Gadsden and Amari Moses both threw down serious dunks, with one of Gadsden’s coming with an assist off the glass for Valmond.
The Auks did not quit, however, and they came out firing in the fourth quarter. A pair of three-pointers for Jon Dearing and another from Anthony Mariano, along with field goals from Dellose and Chris Albero, helped Archmere cut the deficit to 10 at 53-43. But they missed on a chance to add two more points on another possession, and Gadsden made them pay with another monster dunk.
Valmond finished with 20 to lead the Cougars, who also got 13 from Gadsden, 11 from Moses, and 10 from Jones. Delcastle improved to 8-6 and will visit the top seed, Sanford, on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Dellose led the Auks with 13 points. Dearing, Albero and Mariano each finished with nine. Archmere’s season ended at 10-4.
All photos by Mike Lang.