By Peter Vankevich
It took some tough defense and poise under pressure for both Dolphin basketball teams to win their first Conference playoff games.
The Lady Dolphins battled the Cape Hatteras Hurricanes the entire game and came from behind to eke out a 46-44 win. Some clutch playing by Sydney Austin, who made two key layups, the last included a foul shot with just six seconds to go, ensured the victory in front of a packed gym. Many of the fans dressed in Dolphin blue to show their support.
Sydney was high scorer with 20 points and several rebounds to earn the “Player of the Game” award. Ingrid Contreras had eight points and Bricia Moreno and Karla Perez each hit two three-point shots. Ariana Trejo, Iris Trejo and Josie Winstead contributed two points each.
Sophomore Caroline Gray was high scorer for the Hurricanes with 18 points and Freshman Finni Harmon had 10. The Hurricanes are a young team with only two seniors, which bodes that the rivalry between the two teams will continue to be strong for the next couple of years, at least. They split their regular season games, each winning at home.
It was a game that each score was considered important, as the teams went back and forth. Hatteras led at the first quarter 10-9 and Dolphins took a 21-18 lead into the locker room at half-time. One of the highlights of the game was a three-point basket by Karla Perez at the buzzer for the Dolphins to end the third quarter leading 35-32.
Coach Adam Burleson said it wasn’t their best game.
“We missed a lot of shots we should have made,” he said. “But the team didn’t give up and played well at the end to win.”
The boys team also had their work cut out for them against the Creswell Tigers who split their regular season games. The game was delayed slightly due to the team missing the f4 p.m. ferry due to a major accident on the Alligator River Bridge.
The Tigers jumped out to a strong start and led 17-12 at first quarter. Darvin Contreras got the Dolphins rolling in the second quarter by hitting a three-pointer to cut the lead to two points. Brothers Evin and Liam Caswell heated up. With five minutes to go, Liam hit a shot to put the Dolphins ahead 21-20. Evin hit a few more, and the Dolphins took a 29-26 lead at the half.
The third quarter remained close. With six minutes to go, Dalton Kalna hit a three-pointer to make the score 34-29, and the Dolphins took a 43-37 lead into the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Tigers battled back to lead 44-43. Liam hit a two-pointer to regain the lead, and the Dolphins didn’t trail again to finish the game 52-45.
Evin Caswell and Contreras were high scorers for the Dolphins. Both had 14 points. Liam Caswell had 12 points, Dalton Kalna made two three-pointers, and Brandon O’Neal, who made some good defensive plays, contributed four points.
Coach Dave Allewalt accepted the victory.
“We missed a lot of shots, especially at the foul line, but the team found a way to win,” he said.
The Lady Dolphins have no time to savor their win. Today they head to Columbia for the second round of the playoffs to face the Manteo Redskins. The game will be broadcast by WOVV, 90.1 FM beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The boys’ next game was not yet finalized.