Dolphin Basketball is Back

Jenny Scarborough

Both Dolphin teams were in deep waters Thursday.

The 2017-18 season opened with games against the First Flight Nighthawks. Dedicated fans rode the ferry to Hatteras to cheer the teams. The Battle of the Beach continues Friday at First Flight, when the Dolphins will compete against Currituck High School.

Dolphin Basketball is Back

Scrappy, fierce, tiny but tough point guard Ingrid Contreras scored the first points of the night, giving the Ocracoke girls their only lead of the game. They were outmatched by the deeper, more experienced squad from First Flight, which ran a motion offense that sent a continual flow of players into the lane. 

The Lady Dolphins spaced themselves well on both ends of the court, stayed unrattled during full court pressure, and never gave up even as the First Flight lead grew. 

Despite the 49-23 loss, rookie coach Kate Plyler said she "couldn't be happier," and that she saw "huge positives" that the young team will build on. "This is a great group of girls," said Kate.

Senior Dolphin Lupita Martínez was awarded the game ball for her 8 rebounds, 2 blocks and 5 points. "Lupita did a lot of good things," said coach Kate. During the 3rd quarter she fought for a tough offensive rebound, kept the ball high above her head and netted 2 for her squad. She nailed a 3 in the last minute of the game, showing her strength and range.

The boys team is going to be fun to watch this year. They are tall (for the most part), fit and fast. With a nine man rotation, they will have to be mindful of potential foul trouble.

Coach David Allewalt, attending a birthday celebration at 1718 Brewing the evening before the game, predicted that the first team to 100 would win the match up between Ocracoke and First Flight, a 2A School in Kitty Hawk, NC. Both teams live to run, and First Flight loves to float the three ball.

Colby Austin dropped in his first 3 of the night to tie the game 3-all, and we were off. There was elegant passing, with the ball never touching the court, as three Dolphins broke the press for a lay up. Ocracoke was up by 4 early on.

Then First Flight started draining 3s. Three 3s in three possessions, from the same spot on the floor, by the same player, appropriately wearing jersey number 3 (or maybe it was #4, who also killed from the outside).

The first eight minute quarter ended with First Flight leading 24-21.

The Nighthawks started taking it inside during the second quarter, often getting a step ahead of the defender for easy twos. The Dolphin defense scrambled to keep up with their drive it in, kick it out strategy. First Flight has an arsenal full of 3 point shooters and saw solid minutes from the entire bench.

The Dolphins came out for the second half trailing by 14, and the Nighthawks went on a 12-2 run to make it 57-33, a gap which never closed. The final was 95-57.

The Dolphin boys look like they could have great chemistry this year. I will be watching and rueing the last season of the Caswell dynasty (for this generation, for now), enjoying the continuation of the Austin legacy, and celebrating the powers of the Contreras clan as the latest force in Dolphin basketball.

In Fridays games against Currituck, the Lady Dolphins lost by 30, but "woke up" and "only lost the second half by 3," according to Kate. The boys won an exciting game by 2 at the buzzer. Senior Liam Caswell sank the game winner with 1.2 seconds on the clock.



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